Skip to main content

Full text of "The last days of Marie Antoinete, from the French of G. Lenôtre [psedu.]"

See other formats


REESE  LIBRARY 

OF  THE 

UNIVERSITY  OF  CALIFORNIA. 
Class 


THE    LAST   DAYS   OF 
MARIE  ANTOINETTE 


^^?F 

UNIVERSITY 


THE  LAST  DAYS  OF 
MARIE  ANTOINETTE 


FROM  THE  FRENCH  OF 

G.  LENOTRE, 

Aiithor  of  "  The  Flight  of  Marie  Antoinette 
BY 

MRS.    RODOLPH   STAWELL 


many  Illustrations 


PHILADELPHIA:  J.  B,  LIPPINCOTT  COMPANY 
IONDON:   WILLIAM    HEINEMANN 

1907 


THE  LAST  DAYS  OF 
MARIE   ANTOINETTE 


FROM  THE  FRENCH  OF 

G.  LENOTRE, 

Author  of  "  The  Flight  of  Marie  Antoinette" 

BY 
MRS.    RODOLPH    STAWELL 


With  many  Illustrations 


PHILADELPHIA:  J.  B.  LIPPINCOTT  COMPANY 

LONDON:   WILLIAM   HEINEMANN 

190; 


Printed  in  England 


CONTENTS 


PAGE 

INTRODUCTION  xi 


LES  FEUILLANTS 

LES  FEUILLANTS  (August  10th-13th,  1792)  ...          1 

DUFOUR'S  NARRATIVE  (August  10th-13th,  1792)   ...         4 

THE  ROHAN-CHABOT  INCIDENT  (The  Night  of  the  llth  August, 

1792) 13 

THE  TEMPLE 

THE  TEMPLE  (August  13th,  1792— August  1st,  1793)       .  .        21 

THE  NARRATIVE  OF  DAUJON,  COMMISSIONER  OF  THE  COMMUNE 

(August,  1792— October,  1793) 33 

THE  NARRATIVE  OF  TURGY,  A  MANSERVANT  EMPLOYED  IN  THE 

TEMPLE  (10th  August,  1792— 13th  October,  1793)     .  .        59 

THE  NARRATIVE  OF  TOWN- COUNCILLOR  GORET     .  81 

THE  RECOLLECTIONS  OF  JACQUES  FRANCOIS  LEPITRE  (December, 

1792— October,  1793) 102 

EXTRACTS  FROM  THE  NARRATIVE  OF  MOELLE,  MEMBER  OF  THE 

COMMUNE    ,  134 


39G4 


CONTENTS 

THE  CONCIERGERIE 


PAGE 


THE  CONCIERGERIE  (August  2nd— October  16th,  1793)     .  .      144 

THE  NARRATIVE  OF  ROSALIE  LAMORLIERE,  SERVANT  AT  THE 

CONCIERGERIE  (August — October,  1793)          .  .  .      150 

NOTES  BY  MONSEIGNEUR  DE  SALAMON  (1796)  .  .  .172 

THE  INQUIRY  OF  MADAME  SIMON- VOUET  (1836)  .  .  .      175 

THE  NARRATIVE  OF  MADAME  BAULT,  WIDOW  OF  THE  GAOLER 
AT  THE  CONCIERGERIE  PRISON  (September  llth— October 
16th,  1793) 186 

THE  QUEEN'S  COMMUNION  IN  THE  CONCIERGERIE  .  .      196 

THE  RECOLLECTIONS  OF  MADEMOISELLE  FOUCH£  (Recorded  in 

1824  by  M.  le  Comte  de  Robiano)         .  .  .  .207 

THE  DECLARATION  OF  THE  ABBE  MAGNIN  (1825)    .  .  .      215 


THE  TRIAL 

NOTES  BY  CHAUVEAU-LAGARDE,  COUNSEL  FOR  THE  QUEEN 

(14th-16th  October,  1793) 228 

EXTRACT  FROM  THE  RECOLLECTIONS  OF  MOELLE,  A  MEMBER  OF 
THE  COMMUNE  AND  A  WITNESS  IN  THE  TRIAL  (15th- 
16th  October,  1793) 235 

THE  EXECUTION 

NARRATIVE  OF  Louis  LARIVIERE,  TURNKEY  IN  THE  CONCIER- 
GERIE ........  238 

THE  NARRATIVE  OF  DE  BUSNE         .....      245 
NARRATIVE  OF  THE  GENDARME  LE"GER       .  .  .  .247 

THE  NARRATIVE  OF  DESESSARTS       .....      249 

vi 


CONTENTS 

FAOB 

THE  NARRATIVE  OF  THE  VICOMTE  CHARLES  DESFOSSES  .  .      250 

THE  NARRATIVE  OF  ROUY,  AUTHOR  OF    "  LE  MAGICIEN   RE- 
PUBLIC AIN"  .......      253 

MARIE  ANTOINETTE'S  WILL   .  .  *       .  .  .      255 

THE  CEMETERY  OF  THE  MADELEINE      .  .  .264 

THE     EXHUMATION  OF    THE    REMAINS    OF    KING 

LOUIS  XVI.  AND  QUEEN  MARIE  ANTOINETTE  269 


vn 


LIST  OF  ILLUSTRATIONS 


PAGE 


MARIE  ANTOINETTE  IN  MOURNING  AT  THE  TEMPLE  .    Frontispiecz 

MARIE  ANTOINETTE  IN  HUNTING  COSTUME  .           .           To  face  8 

GENERAL  PLAN  OF  THE  TEMPLE  PRECINCTS  IN  1792      .           .  25 

PLAN   A. — THE  SURROUNDINGS  OF    THE    TEMPLE    TOWER    IN 

AUGUST,  1792,  ACCORDING  TO  UNPUBLISHED  DOCUMENTS    .  29 

PLAN    B. — THE   SURROUNDINGS   OF    THE   TEMPLE  TOWER    IN 

JANUARY,  1793,  ACCORDING  TO  UNPUBLISHED  DOCUMENTS  .  31 

THE  PRINCESS  DE  LAMBALLE  ....           To  face  44 

THE  UNFORTUNATE  Louis  XVI.        .           .           .           Tofaoe  60 

THE  LAST  INTERVIEW  OF  Louis  XVI.  WITH  HIS  FAMILY,  THE 

NIGHT  BEFORE  HIS  EXECUTION   .           .           .           To  face  68 

PRINCESS  MARIA  CHARLOTTE  THERESA        .           .           To  face  80 

THE  TEMPLE  TOWER  IN  SEPTEMBER,  1792  .           .           To  face  84 

J.  B.  CLE"RY       ......            To  face  88 

LAMOIGNON  DE  MALESHERBES            .           .           .           To  face  92 

THE  TOWER,  WITH  THE  BUILDINGS  OF  THE  BAILLIAGE  OF  THE 

TEMPLE  (AUGUST,  1792)   ....           To  face  94 

DEATH  OF  Louis  CAPET  ON  THE  PLACE  DE  LA  REVOLUTION 

(JANUARY  21,  1793)          ....           To  face  96 

MADAME  ELIZABETH     .....           To  face  122 

Louis    XVI.    TEACHING    HIS     SON    GEOGRAPHY     IN     THE 

TEMPLE       ......           To  face  138 

THE  QUEEN'S  Two  CELLS  IN  THE  CONCIERGERIE           .           .  151 

ix 


LIST  OF  ILLUSTRATIONS 

PAGE 

PASSAGE  LEADING  TO  THE  QUEEN'S  FIRST  CELL  IN  THE  CONCIER- 

GERIE — ACTUAL  CONDITION       .....  155 

THE  COUR  DBS  FEMMES  AT  THE  CONCIERGERIE  .           .           .  189 

THE  ABBE"  MAGNIN,  THE  QUEEN'S  LAST  CONFESSOR        To  face  216 

THE  TRIAL  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE  (OCTOBER  14,  1793)    To  face  228 

CONDEMNATION  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE  BEFORE    THE    REVO- 
LUTIONARY TRIBUNAL      ....            To  face  232 

THE  QUEEN  ON  HER  WAY  TO  THE  SCAFFOLD     .           .           .  251 

THE  CEMETERY  OF  THE  MADELEINE          ....  265 

THE  TOWER  AND  GARDEN  OF  THE  TEMPLE,  OCTOBER,  1793    .  279 
PLAN  OF  THE  VAULT  OF  THE  BOURBONS  .           .           .           .282 

THE  VAULT  OF  THE    BOURBONS  IN  THE   CHURCH  OF  SAINT- 
DENIS                                                     .           .            To  face  282 


OF  THE 

UNIVERSITY 

c     °F 


INTRODUCTION 

THIS  is  not  a  new  book  about  Marie  Antoinette :  it  is  a 
recapitulation,  an  almost  daily  record,  of  the  life  led  by  the 
prisoner  in  Les  Feuillants,  the  Temple,  and  the  Conciergerie  ; 
a  collection  of  notes  whose  chief  merit  is  their  absolute 
authenticity. 

Nothing  has  been  included  but  the  narratives  of  eye- 
witnesses :  of  those  who,  on  one  ground  or  another,  were 
admitted  to  the  Queen's  presence  during  the  period  between 
the  10th  August,  1792,  and  the  16th  October,  1793.  These 
were  neither  gentlemen  of  the  Court  nor  official  historio- 
graphers. The  Dangeau  and  the  Saint-Simon  of  these  dark 
days  were  a  gaoler's  wife,  a  menial  of  the  pantry,  an  upholsterer, 
a  servant-girl,  a  gendarme,  a  sweeper — witnesses,  that  is  to  say, 
whose  style  does  not  aim  at  any  great  elegance.  But  I  think 
their  rugged  sincerity  will  strike  us  as  being  more  impressive 
than  the  poetical  and  pompous  redundancies  of  the  official 
writers  of  the  Restoration. 

"  Marie  Antoinette's  life  in  the  Temple  belongs  to  History," 
says  M.  Wallon  ;  "the  reader  does  not  wish  such  a  subject  to 
be  quickly  passed  over :  he  is  greedy  of  details  and  likes  to 
dwell  on  them,  because,  in  the  face  of  so  striking  an  example 
of  the  instability  of  human  affairs,  his  emotions  are  as  great 
as  the  misfortunes  that  call  them  forth."  The  amazing 
contrast  between  the  Queen's  first  years,  between  the  dream- 
like life  at  Schoenbrunn  and  Versailles,  and  her  overwhelming 
sorrows,  is  enough  to  move  the  most  callous  heart.  One 

xi 


INTRODUCTION 

remembers  Trianon  and  all  its  flowers  as  one  stands  in  the 
dark  cellar  of  the  Conciergerie  where  the  poor  woman  endured 
her  death-struggle ;  and  one  perforce  contrasts  the  brilliant 
portraits  in  which  we  see  her  all  gentleness  and  smiles,  a 
majestic  figure  under  her  crown  of  fair  hair,  with  that 
sorrowful  woman  whom  Paris  saw  in  the  executioner's  cart, 
wrapped  in  an  old  shawl,  nearly  blind,  with  the  short  strands 
of  white  hair  round  her  temples  whipping  her  thin  cheeks. 

It  is  not  surprising  that  this  melancholy  epic  should  have 
proved  attractive  to  a  great  number  of  historians.  As  soon 
as  the  Terror  was  over  the  writers  set  to  work ;  but  either 
because  the  events  of  the  nineteenth  century  diverted  atten- 
tion from  other  things,  or  because  every  one  was  anxious  to 
forget  the  horrors  of  the  Revolution  as  quickly  as  possible,  or 
because  the  chroniclers  in  question  were  afraid  of  rousing  into 
activity  the  critics  of  the  Empire  by  reviving  the  memory  of 
the  House  of  Bourbon,  twenty  years  slipped  by  before  any 
serious  inquiry  into  the  Queen's  imprisonment  was  set  on 
foot. 

Then  came  the  Restoration ;  and  instantly  there  was  such 
a  flood  of  brochures — Les  Augustes  Victimes — Les  Illustres 
Persecutes — Les  Malheurs  de  la  Heine  de  France — that  in  a 
few  months  the  supply  of  elegiacal  banalities  ran  out.  It 
was  only  then  that  the  people  whom  the  chances  of  the  Revo- 
lution had  placed  in  contact  with  the  prisoners  of  the  Temple 
were  brought  out  of  their  obscurity.  There  were  numbers  of 
municipal  officers,  conventionists,  gaolers,  gendarmes,  warders, 
and  servants  of  all  kinds  who,  even  if  they  possessed  no 
original  documents,  must  at  least  have  had  accurate  recollec- 
tions of  the  drama  of  1793.  But  by  the  time  it  occurred  to 
anyone  to  question  them,  many  of  them  were  dead ;  others, 
not  caring  to  remind  the  royal  family  of  the  part  they  had 
played,  kept  silence ;  a  few,  thinking  it  to  their  interest  to 
speak,  told  their  tale ;  and  thus  it  is  that  we  see  successively 
appearing,  between  1815  and  1820,  the  Narrative  of  Dufour, 
Turgy's  Fragments,  the  evidence  of  Goret  and  Lepitre,  the 

xii 


INTRODUCTION 

Letters  from  the  Widow  Bault,  the  Recollections  of  Rosalie 
Lamorliere,  etc. 

These  narratives,  published  for  the  most  part  in  the  form 
of  short  pamphlets  of  a  few  pages,  shared  the  fate  of  all 
pamphlets :  they  disappeared.  Indeed,  I  think  as  a  matter 
of  fact  they  were  not  looked  for  very  zealously,  for  they  have 
been  so  often  quoted  that  everyone  thinks  he  knows  them. 
All  the  historians  who  have  described  the  Temple  prison  and 
told  the  story  of  the  imprisonment  of  the  royal  family  have  had 
these  for  their  only  sources  of  information  ;  and  for  such  a  long 
time  now  every  writer  has  been  touching  them  up  and  colouring 
them,  and  making  dramas  out  of  them,  and  arranging  them 
to  the  best  advantage  for  the  support  of  his  own  particular 
theory,  that  those  who  take  the  pains  to  consult  the  ungarbled 
text  of  the  original  copies  find  it  absolutely  unrecognisable. 

And  yet  one  would  have  thought  that  such  valuable  and 
rare  documents,  concerned  with  events  such  as  these,  would 
have  inspired  enough  respect  to  save  them  from  the  super- 
fluous additions  that  tend  to  smother  not  merely  their 
individual  flavour,  but  also  their  chief  characteristic  of 
authenticity.  Everything  that  has  been  thought  to  be  an 
improvement  to  them  has,  on  the  contrary,  quite  remarkably 
detracted  from  their  value  by  robbing  them  of  that  vividness 
of  things  seen  which  no  secondhand  narrator,  however  clever 
he  may  be,  can  ever  recapture.  To  the  very  clumsiness  of 
these  uncultured  tales  we  owe  many  an  involuntary  revelation. 
How  much  it  surprises  us  to  hear  of  the  ill-concealed  emotion 
of  the  commissioners  of  the  Commune,  uneducated  men  of 
narrow  mind  for  the  most  part,  who  accepted  the  office  of 
guarding  the  prisoners,  and  came  to  the  Temple  in  a  spirit 
of  bravado  as  it  were,  filled  with  excitement  and  coarse 
delight  at  the  idea  of  hearing  Capet  sigh,  and  of  snubbing 
the  chattering  Austrian.  Gradually,  as  they  approached  the 
Tower,  a  vague  feeling  of  pity  grew  upon  them ;  as  they 
mounted  the  stairs  they  were  choking  with  emotion ;  in  the 

xiii 


INTRODUCTION 

presence  of  the  prisoners  the  most  truculent  were  silenced 
and  the  roughest  softened  by  an  instinct  of  respect  which 
they  tried  in  vain  to  hide.  These  simple  folk,  these  artisans 
and  shopkeepers,  were  embarrassed  by  the  role  that  had  been 
thrust  upon  them ;  without  being  willing  to  confess  it,  they 
were  ashamed  to  see  the  King  and  Queen  lodged  in  this 
narrow,  low-ceiled,  uncomfortable  little  room ;  and  so  real 
was  this  feeling  of  embarrassment  that  these  officials  soon 
began  to  avoid  the  corvee  of  the  Temple,  none  of  them  being 
willing  to  undertake  it  except  certain  members  of  the 
Commune,  always  the  same,  whose  devotion  the  prisoners 
had  won. 

This  apparent  contradiction  is  easily  explained.  In  the 
intervals  of  the  artificial  excitement  of  which  these  great 
revolutionary  demonstrations  are  born  the  little  Parisian 
bourgeois  is  neither  cruel  nor  vindictive.  He  is,  as  much  as 
any  man,  the  slave  of  the  impression  of  the  moment ;  and 
had  it  not  been  for  the  overpowering  fear  that  was  the  pre- 
vailing sentiment  in  those  troubled  times,  many  of  the 
municipal  officers  on  duty  at  the  Temple  would  have  opened 
the  door  and  shut  their  eyes. 

But  outside  the  prisoners'  circle  of  attraction  were  com- 
rades of  the  club  and  of  the  section,  boon  companions  before 
whom  it  was  necessary  to  play  at  cynicism  and  curse  the 
tyrants — for  whom  any  sympathy  that  was  felt  was  un- 
expressed— and  the  pity  that  had  begun  to  well  up  was 
weakened  by  a  flood  of  words  over  the  counter  of  the  wine- 
shop. Yes,  the  thing  was  well  organised,  and  those  who  had 
schemed  it  all,  now  that  the  tragic  climax  on  which  they  had 
long  resolved  was  near  at  hand,  had  skilfully  secured  the 
support  of  the  Parisian  populace :  they  guarded  against  its 
innate  sentimentality  by  playing  upon  its  vanity,  interest, 
and  fear :  but  now  the  weights  were  no  longer  equal  and  the 
scale  dipped  upon  the  wrong  side.  These  remarks  may 
throw  some  light  upon  those  inexplicable  and  complex 

xiv 


INTRODUCTION 

characters,  Tison,  Busne,  Moelle,  Lamarche,  Bault,  Prud'- 
homme,  Simon,  and  others  whom  we  shall  meet  in  the  course 
of  these  narratives. 

There  is  another  element  in  the  story  that  will  be  no  less^ 
surprising :  the  calmness,  one  might  almost  say  the  indiffer- 
ence, of  the  prisoners,  and  the  kind  of  familiar  good-fellow- 
ship that  they  showed  in  their  relations  with  their  warders. 
Here,  again,  it  seems  to  me  that  historians  have  made  the 
facts  unrecognisable  by  creating  characters  all  of  a  piece  : 
disdainful  pride  on  the  part  of  the  prisoners,  coarse  ferocity 
on  the  part  of  the  gaolers.  How  much  more  human  is  the 
relaxation  of  manners  that  resulted  from  this  enforced  com- 
panionship, and  what  unexpected  pictures  it  evokes !  The 
Queen,  in  the  course  of  a  walk  in  the  gardens  of  the  Temple, 
sits  down  under  a  tree  beside  the  member  of  the  Commune  on 
duty,  and  they  enter  into  conversation.  The  daughter  of 
Maria  Theresa,  looking  at  her  prison,  asks  the  official  what 
he  thinks  of  it.  Whereupon  the  latter  describes  an  expedi- 
tion he  once  made  to  Coucy-le-Chateau,  and  embarks  upon 
the  history  of  Gabrielle  de  Vergy.  The  Queen,  amused  by 
the  tale,  calls  her  husband,  who  is  at  a  little  distance  play- 
ing at  ball  with  his  son,  and  both  of  them  then  begin 
chatting  with  their  gaoler  on  matters  of  geography,  archaeo- 
logy, and  travels.  And  later  on  the  Queen,  whose  haughti- 
ness has  been  so  much  insisted  upon,  shows  her  gaoler  a 
collection  she  has  made  of  her  children's  hair  at  different 
ages  :  she  sprinkles  scent  on  her  hands  and  waves  them  before 
his  face.  The  whole  party  plays  chess,  makes  jokes,  plays 
upon  the  harpsichord  ;  there  is  no  sign  of  haughtiness,  no 
complaint,  no  recriminations. 

And  how  these  poor  women  persisted  in  deluding  them- 
selves !  With  what  deceptive  details  they  fed  their  feverish 
and  tenacious  hopes  !  They  believed  the  men  of  Nantes  were 
on  their  way  to  Paris  :  the  Spanish  Army,  no  doubt,  must 
have  joined  them:  had  they  already  reached  Orleans?  Had 

xv 


INTRODUCTION 

not  the  Swiss  declared  war  ?  /  An  interchange  was  carried  on 
of  notes  containing  news,  written  in  invisible  ink ;  romantic 
names  were  used  :  Produse,  Constant,  Fidele ;  a  language  of 
signs  was  invented.  All  this  reminds  us  with  a  pang  of  the 
comedies  of  Trianon.  Shall  we  still  be  here  in  August  ?  asked 
Madame  Elizabeth.  Alas  !  Tell  us  the  bad  news  as  well  as 
the  good,  she  added.  Not  ever  again  would  she  hear  news 
that  was  good. 

When,  one  after  another,  their  illusions  have  died,  when  no 
earthly  hope  is  conceivable  any  longer,  a  noble  and  mysterious 
figure  comes  upon  the  scene.  We  do  not  refer  to  the  Abbe 
Magnin,  who,  by  risking  martyrdom  for  the  sake  of  bringing 
some  comfort  to  the  Queen,  simply  fulfilled  the  duties  of  his 
office,  but  to  that  poor  girl  who  had  neither  money,  nor  credit, 
nor  interest,  and  was,  moreover,  deformed,  yet  who  by  the  force 
of  her  own  will  obliged  the  whole  machinery  of  the  Terror  to 
yield  before  her,  and  simply  made  her  way  into  the  Con- 
ciergerie,  carrying  some  fine  linen,  a  cake,  and  some  preserves 
for  Marie  Antoinette.  I  know  of  nothing  more  touching 
than  the  placidity  of  this  girl,  who,  though  brought  up  behind 
an  old-clothes  shop,  was  neither  disturbed  by  the  presence  of 
the  Queen  nor  by  the  coldness  with  which  the  prisoner 
received  her.  At  once,  without  regard  to  her  surroundings, 
fearlessly  and  quietly  she  found  the  right  words,  and  spoke  to 
the  Queen  as  she  would  have  spoken  to  one  of  her  neighbours 
in  trouble.  Seeing  that  the  Queen  was  paying  no  attention 
to  her,  the  brave  girl  calmly  set  herself  to  overcome  the 
suspicion  with  which  she  felt  herself  regarded  by  tasting  the 
jam  and  the  cake,  taking  her  time  over  it,  without  consider- 
ing for  a  single  moment  that  she  was  under  the  knife  of  the 
guillotine  and  that  her  courage  was  simply  sublime. 

For  a  long  time  we  believed  that  this  story,  which  sounds 
so  unlikely  and  has  been  so  much  discussed,  was  a  fabrication. 
We  shall  show  why  our  suspicions  have  been  overcome,  and 
give  the  reasons  that  have  led  us  to  accept,  as  absolutely 
true,  the  narrative  of  the  Abbe  Magnin. 

xvi 


INTRODUCTION 

The  evidence  that  we  have  collected  on  the  subject  of  the 
Queen's  last  hours  is  still  more  affecting.  No  doubt  the 
whole  story  of  the  martyrdom  has  already  been  told  :  but 
what  description  in  the  world,  even  were  it  by  the  most 
eminent  of  poets,  could  rival  the  tale  of  those  who  can  say  : 
/  have  seen  ?  Such  are  those  who  will  show  us  the  daughter 
cf  Emperors  in  the  anguish  of  that  dawn  of  the  16th 
October,  stretched  upon  her  truckle-bed,  her  cheek  resting  on 
her  hand,  as  through  the  barred  window  she  watches  the 
growing  light  of  that  sad  day.  Two  candles  are  flickering 
out  upon  the  table ;  the  gendarme,  in  a  corner,  is  reading 
and  smoking.  The  servant  enters  and  offers  the  prisoner 
some  broth  that  she  has  made  for  her ;  but  the  poor 
woman's  throat  refuses  to  swallow,  and  she  only  takes  two 
spoonfuls.  We  shall  hear  of  the  abrupt  entrance  of  the 
executioner;  of  the  suppressed  sighs,  and  movements  of 
horror  that  convulsed  the  unhappy  woman,  revolting  from 
the  idea  of  death  ;  of  the  man  who  cut  off  her  hair  and  put 
it  in  his  pocket  .... 

Such  things  as  these,  recorded  by  those  who  actually  saw 
them,  are  so  intensely  impressive  that  they  could  hardly  be 
more  so  if  they  had  taken  place  under  our  own  eyes. 

Afterwards  we  shall  return,  with  the  commissioners  who 
came  back  from  over  there,  to  the  Conciergerie,  which,  in  spite 
of  the  crowd  of  prisoners,  seemed  to  be  empty  that  day,  so 
much  had  the  presence  of  its  great  victim  appeared  to  fill  it. 
Here  there  was  a  general  feeling  of  consternation  in  the  air. 
The  Queen's  hair  was  being  burnt  in  the  registrar's  office ; 
that  hair — once  so  fair — which  in  the  days  of  the  pastorals  of 
the  Trianon  had  lent  its  name  and  colour  to  the  stuffs  that 
clothed  the  fashionable  world.  The  dead  woman's  little  dog 
was  wandering  piteously  through  the  passages,  while  an 
inventory  was  being  taken  of  the  modest  possessions  left  by 
the  victim.  For  a  long  time  to  come  everyone  who  awaited 
death  in  this  place  asked :  "  Which  was  her  room  ?  What 

xvii  b 


INTRODUCTION 

did  she  say  ?  "  It  was  her  memory,  already,  that  dominated 
all  the  others. 

Such  are  the  narratives  that  are  here  published.  Repro- 
duced as  they  are  in  their  entirety  and  arranged  in  their 
present  form,  they  will,  we  are  sure,  appear  quite  new  to 
many  people.  Even  for  those  who  have  made  the  Revolu- 
tion their  special  study  our  work,  we  think,  will  not  be 
useless,  since  it  puts  at  their  disposal  documents  of  unques- 
tionable interest,  documents  that  it  is  almost  impossible  to 
find  nowadays  in  their  original  form.  We  would  especially 
call  their  attention  to  the  most  important  of  these  papers, 
the  greater  part  of  which  has  remained  unpublished  until 
now.  The  description  it  contains  of  the  events  of  September 
2nd  and  3rd  gives  us  food  for  much  thought.  At  that 
sinister  date  the  Temple  was  besieged  by  a  horde  of  proved 
murderers,  monsters,  drunken  brutes,  carrying  the  head, 
entrails,  and  heart  of  the  Princesse  de  Lamballe.  They  were 
received  by  the  municipal  officers  on  duty,  who  had  a 
considerable  armed  force  at  their  disposal.  How  were  they 
received  ?  With  powder  and  shot  ?  Not  at  all.  All  the 
arms  were  hidden  ;  the  troops  were  drawn  up  in  line  ;  the  vile 
mob  was  harangued,  with  allusions  to  its  glory  and  its 
exploits ;  and  the  commissioners  put  themselves  at  the  head 
of  the  procession  that  carried  the  hideous  trophy.  It  is  true 
that  the  triumphant  horde  was  carried  off  in  another  direc- 
tion by  this  means ;  but  how  much  more  quickly  the  same 
end  would  have  been  gained  by  stopping  its  progress  in  the 
beginning  by  a  briskly  sustained  fire  ? 

This  narrative  of  Daujon's  is  perhaps  the  saddest  of  all,  in 
that  it  explains  the  others ;  showing  us  the  authorities 
compounding  with  the  murderers  and  bowing  before  their 
threats.  The  same  weakness  that  was  the  undoing  of 
Louis  XVI.  was  destined,  by  a  strange  repetition  of  history, 
to  be  the  undoing  of  those  who  had  compassed  his  fall. 

With  the  exception  of  certain  expressions  whose  coarseness 
it  is  impossible  to  reproduce,  we  have  deleted  nothing  from 

xviii 


INTRODUCTION 

Dauj  on's  manuscript.  A  number  of  incidents  are  recorded  in 
it  whose  horror,  some  may  think,  should  have  been  modified 
— such  as  those  unutterable  words  of  the  Dauphin.  But  our 
respect  for  the  truth  is  too  great,  and;  our  independence  in 
searching  for  it  too  sincere,  to  allow  us  to  curtail  the  deposi- 
tion of  a  witness  and  to  choose  from  it  only  what  pleases  us. 
Facts — let  us  have  facts !  Let  us  first  find  out  how  events 
occurred :  judgment  can  be  passed  on  them  later.  The 
history  of  the  Revolution  is  still  only  at  the  stage  of  enquiry 
and  examination.  When  the  dossier  is  complete  the  time 
will  come  for  addressing  the  jury ;  the  verdict  then  will  at 
all  events  be  found  in  full  knowledge  of  the  facts,  and  if  the 
occasion  arises  each  individual  may,  with  a  safe  conscience, 
pronounce  the  words  of  condemnation  or  of  acquittal. 


xix 


LES    FEUILLANTS 

(AUGUST  10-13TH,  1792) 

IT  was  the  10th  August,  1792,  and  the  hour  was  seven  o'clock 
in  the  morning.  The  Legislative  Assembly  met  in  the  Riding 
School  of  the  Tuileries,  and  entered  upon  that  great  sitting 
whose  tragic  issues  are  for  ever  memorable. 

The  deputies,  like  the  whole  of  Paris,  were  in  a  state  of  fever : 
the  excited  mob  surged  round  the  hall,  ready  at  any  moment  to 
break  out  into  open  riot;  everyone  felt  that  the  hour  of  the 
crisis  was  about  to  strike  and  that  it  would  be  terrible.  Upon 
the  benches  the  tumult,  agitation,  and  confusion  were  indescrib- 
able ;  outside  the  walls  the  murmuring  throng  grew  ever  larger  ; 
in  the  narrow  corridor  that  connected  the  hall  with  the  Passage 
des  Feuillants  an  overwhelming  multitude  was  crowded :  in  the 
passage  itself  the  murderous  work  had  actually  begun ;  several 
heads  were  raised  aloft  on  pikes. 

Suddenly  a  man  appeared  at  the  bar  of  the  hall,  and  announced 
breathlessly  that  the  King  and  his  family  were  crossing  the 
gardens,  on  their  way  to  take  refuge  with  the  Assembly.  Almost 
at  the  same  moment  there  appeared  at  the  wide  entrance  that 
yawned  under  the  seats  of  the  members  the  soldiers  of  the 
Royal  Guard,  trying  with  fixed  bayonets  to  force  their  way 
through  the  dark  passage  in  which  the  frantic  crowd  was 
struggling.  There  was  a  general  cry  :  "  No  soldiers  !  No  arms  !  " 
The  benches  were  emptied  in  an  instant ;  the  deputies  dashed 
down  and  repulsed  the  Guard.  At  that  moment  the  King 
appeared ;  then  from  the  back- wash  of  the  surge  came  the 
Queen,  with  Madame  Elizabeth  holding  Madame  Royale  by  the 
hand,  and  behind  them  a  grenadier  of  the  National  Guard 
carrying  the  Dauphin  above  the  level  of  the  people's  heads. 
There  was  a  moment  of  comparative  silence  while  the  two  hostile 
powers,  the  Court  and  the  Assembly,  reconciled  for  an  instant  by 
their  common  danger,  faced  each  other  in  dismay. 

1  B 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

Then,  while  an  aimless  discussion  followed,  leading  to  nothing, 
— the  deputies  arguing,  with  an  affectation  of  calmness,  as  to 
whether  the  King  should  sit  here  or  there — came  the  news  from 
without  of  a  succession  of  disasters. 

The  palace  had  been  broken  into  ;  M.  Mandat  had  just  been 
murdered  ;  the  insurgent  army  was  gaining  ground  ;  its  furious 
waves  were  beating  against  the  walls  of  the  Riding  School  with  a 
noise  like  the  thunder  of  a  raging  sea  ;  the  courts  were  invaded. 
The  Assembly,  over-confident  in  its  own  authority,  decreed  that 
twenty  of  its  members  should  be  commissioned  to  speak  to  the 
people  and  soothe  their  agitation.  It  was  half-past  nine  when 
they  started  on  this  errand.  Suddenly  the  report  of  a  gun  was 
heard  :  the  whole  hall  rose  and  listened,  trembling.  The  public, 
crowded  together  in  the  galleries,  were  jostling  each  other  in  the 
effort  to  escape,  when  an  officer  of  the  National  Guard,  bursting 
through  the  barrier,  rushed  into  the  semicircle  crying  :  "  To 
your  places,  gentlemen  ;  they  are  breaking  in  !  " 

The  president — it  was  Guadet — left  his  seat  and  sought 
shelter.  From  without  came  a  sound  of  roaring  guns  ;  and  during 
the  short  interval  between  the  constant  reports  could  be  heard 
the  sustained  fire  of  musketry,  drawing  closer  and  closer  to  the 
Assembly.  At  this  point  the  twenty  deputies  who  had  been 
despatched  to  make  peace  returned  in  disorder.  One  of  them, 
Lamarque,  with  a  gesture  of  despair  addressed  the  president,  but 
his  words  were  hardly  distinguishable. 

"  We  reached  the  end  of  the  court  of  the  Riding  School — We 
came  too  late  ! — An  immense  crowd  of  armed  men — we  know  no 
more — we  could  not  possibly  go  any  further." 

His  voice  was  lost  in  the  tumult :  the  tocsin  was  ringing  at  the 
churches  of  the  Conception,  Saint  Roch,  and  the  Assumption, 
the  sound  of  the  guns  was  growing  louder  every  moment :  some 
musket-shots  were  aimed  at  the  windows  of  the  Riding  School, 
and  shivered  the  glass  to  atoms.  Some  of  the  deputies  attempted 
to  fly,  but  were  recalled  and  prevented  from  leaving  the  hall. 

"  It  is  here  that  we  ought  to  die  ! " 

A  yell  arose  from  the  galleries :  "  Here  are  the  Swiss 
Guards !  "J  And  the  Assembly,  believing  their  last  hour  had 

1  As  a  matter  of  fact  some  Swiss  Guards  tried  to  force  the  doors  of  the 
hall,  in  order  to  protect  the  royal  family  from  the  insurgents,  who  were  on 
the  point  of  breaking  into  the  Riding  School.  Weber  mentions  the  fact 
in  his  Mdmoires : 

"We  shouted  to  the  gendarmes  to  let  us  in,"  he  writes,  "but  they 


LES   FEUILLANTS 

come,  rose  as  one  man  and  answered  with  a  shout :  "  Vive  la 
liberte,  vive  la  nation  !  " 

We  have  no  intention  of  giving  a  detailed  account  of  that  long 
and  agonising  day  :  we  have  merely  summed  up,  almost  in  the 
original  words,  the  principal  facts  recorded  in  the  official  report.1 
This  sketch  will  suffice  to  show  the  extent  of  the  prevailing 
agitation,  the  complete  absence  of  decided  action,  and  the  con- 
fusion and  terror  that  reigned  on  the  occasion.  The  armies  on 
both  sides  of  the  struggle  were  marching  with  their  eyes  shut, 
and  none  could  foresee  what  the  morrow  would  bring  forth.  It 
is  certain  that  at  midday  on  the  10th  August  the  King  was  still 
hoping  to  return  to  the  Tuileries  in  the  evening.  "We  shall 
come  back,"  the  Queen  had  said  as  she  left  the  palace ;  for  no 
one  dreamt  that  the  royal  family  were  about  to  be  imprisoned. 
But  in  this  great  catastrophe  in  which  the  two  powers  were 
foundering,  the  Assembly,  at  all  events,  understood  that  they 
must  abstain  from  mortgaging  the  future  :  since  the  deluded 
King  had  taken  refuge  in  the  camp  of  the  enemy  it  behoved  the 
latter  to  see  that  such  a  precious  hostage  did  not  escape :  later 
on  they  would  know  better  what  course  to  adopt. 

It  was  then  they  decided  that  the  royal  family  should  stay  for 
the  time  in  the  precincts  of  the  Assembly  itself,  in  the  Convent 
of  Les  Feuillants,  whither,  led  by  an  eye-witness,  we  are  about 
to  follow  them.  In  this  rough,  unstudied  story  we  shall  see 
signs  of  the  same  distraction  and  confusion  that  reigned  in  the 
Assembly. 

It  is  the  deposition  of  a  man  of  whom  we  know  nothing  except 
that  his  name  was  Dufour ;  of  whose  profession,  even,  we  are 
ignorant,  as  well  as  of  the  reasons  that  brought  him  to  this  place. 
His  short  memorandum  is  valuable,  nevertheless,  in  that  he 
records — though  only  superficially  it  is  true — a  series  of  facts 
which  the  witnesses  who  were  in  a  better  position  to  do  so  did  not 
think  of  describing.2 

answered  that  the  thing  was  impossible,  for  the  doors  had  been  barricaded 
on  the  inside  ever  since  the  arrival  of  the  Court.  We  flung  ourselves,  a 
dozen  at  a  time,  against  the  great  door :  it  was  beginning  to  yield,  but 
for  want  of  sappers  all  our  efforts  came  to  nothing. " 

1  See  the  Parliamentary  Archives,  vol.  XL VII,  p.  616-676. 

2  Dufour's  narrative  appeared  in  1814  with  the  following  title  :    The 
Four  Days  of  the  Terror.     Details  of  the  four  days  passed  by  Louis  X  VI. , 
King  of  France,  and  his  august  family,  in  the  Legislative  Assembly,  from 
the  Wth  August,  1792,  to  the  13th  of  the  same  month,  when  they  were  taken 
to  the  Tower  of  the  Temple. 

3  B  2 


DUFOUR'S    NARRATIVE 

(AUGUST  10TH-13TH,  1792) 

I  SPENT  the  night  between  the  9th  and  10th  August  under 
arms  in  the  Place  Vendome,  because  the  company  to  which 
I  was  attached  had  declared  for  the  King.  At  about  three 
o'clock  in  the  morning  this  company  proceeded  to  the  palace 
of  the  Tuileries,  but  being  prevented  from  entering  the 
building,  it  retired  to  the  Place  Vendome,  whither  I  followed 
it.  At  about  six  o'clock  in  the  morning  everything  seemed 
to  have  calmed  down,  and  I  thought  the  danger  was  over,  in 
which  belief  I  hastened  with  all  possible  speed  to  my  father, 
who  was  very  ill.  On  my  return  I  saw  no  sign  of  the  com- 
pany mentioned  above,  and  when  I  approached  the  Palace 
everything  seemed  quiet,  and  the  mob  had  disappeared.  I 
reached  the  grand  staircase  undisturbed ;  but  what  was  my 
surprise  when  I  saw  it  covered  with  corpses,  piled  one  upon 
another.  With  a  beating  heart  I  paused  for  a  moment  to 
collect  my  thoughts.  A  thousand  ideas  flashed  into  my 
mind.  I  pictured  a  murdered  King,  and  with  him  all  his 
family  and  many  another  victim,  among  whom,  perhaps,  there 
might  be  some  still  breathing,  to  whom  I  could  bring  help. 

Inspired  by  this  idea,  I  determined  to  go  upstairs  and 
through  the  rooms,  which  I  did  amid  a  silence  that  was  really 
amazing ;  and  I  met  no  one.  I  returned  to  the  King's  bed- 
room, thinking  it  likely  that  during  such  scenes  of  violence 
there  might  have  been  some  who  had  hidden  themselves; 
and  since  this  seemed  a  propitious  moment  for  them  to  escape, 
I  was  going  to  suggest  that  they  should  take  advantage  of  it. 
But  before  doing  so  I  took  the  precaution  of  listening  at  the 


DUFOUR'S  NARRATIVE 

head  of  the  grand  staircase.     I  had  not  been  there  for  two 
minutes  when  I  heard  a  fearful  clamour,  and  not  knowing  in 
which  direction  to  fly,  I  locked  myself  into  the  King's  room. 
The   crowd   soon   reached   the   door   apd   knocked  upon  it 
violently,  but  I  called  out  from  within  in  a  firm  tone  of 
voice :  "  This  is  not  the  way ;  go  round  on  the  other  side." 
The  leader  went  through  the  Grand  Gallery,  and   all   the 
others  followed  him.     When,  as  far  as  I  could  hear,  they  had 
all  passed  on,  I  came  out  of  the  room  and  followed  them,  for 
I  feared  to  meet  another  band  of  them  on  the  staircase,  and 
wished   to   see  what  they  were  going   to  do.     I  saw  them 
trampling  the  most  valuable  things  under  foot,  and  breaking 
mirrors  and  chandeliers,  etc.,  so  that  in   a   moment    these 
splendid  rooms  were  a  mere  ruin.     Some  of  these  men  had 
entered  the  King's  dressing-room,  where  they  were  flinging 
coats   and  decorations  on  the  floor,  while  others  tried  the 
clothes  on  and  cursed  his  Majesty.     Through  these  maniacs 
I  learnt  that  the  King,  at  nine  o'clock  in  the  morning,  having 
come  to  the  conclusion  that  he  could  not  stay  in  the  Palace 
of  the  Tuileries  without  exposing  the  whole  royal  family  to 
the  greatest  danger,  had  determined  to  retire  with  his  family 
to  the  Legislative  Assembly.     I  did  not  lose  a  moment  in 
following  them.     I  forced  my  way  through  the  crowd,  and 
found  myself  close  to  the  reporter's-box  of  the  Logographe, 
in  which  I  discovered  that  unhappy  royal  family  delivered 
into  the  hands  of  their  cruel  enemies.     All  the  corridors  were 
filled  with  the  terrorists,  who  were  loudly  demanding  a  mas- 
sacre.    I  retired  to  my  own  home  in  the  Faubourg  Saint 
Honore  for  a  moment's  breathing-space,  and  as  I  reached  my 
door  I  saw  three  people  murdered.     They  threw  themselves  at 
the  feet  of  their  assassins  entreating  for  mercy  ;  but  nothing 
could  stay  those  murderous  hands,  and  I  saw  the  three  victims 
expire  within  a  few  yards  of  me.     My  entreaties  were  dis- 
regarded, and  perhaps  I  should  have  suffered  the  same  fate  if 
I  had  persisted  any  longer.     I  had  just  passed  through  the 
Garden  of  the  Tuileries  and  the  Champs-^lysees,  where  the 
ground  was  covered  with  dead  bodies.     This  horrible  scene 
had  quite  unnerved  me,  and  I  remained  for  a  quarter  of  an 
hour  in  my  own  house.    I  then  proceeded  to  the  Garde-Meuble 

5 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

of  the  Crown,  where  I  found  M.  Sulleau,1  and  asked  him  if  he 
were  aware  of  the  troubles  of  the  royal  family.  "  Yes,11  he 
answered,  sorrowfully ;  "  and  at  this  moment  I  am  having  two 
trucks  loaded  with  beds,  for  the  furnishing  of  some  little 
rooms  that  are  being  made  ready  for  their  Majesties.1'2 
When  the  trucks  were  loaded  no  one  dared  to  drag  them ; 
for  so  great  was  the  terror  that  prevailed  that  the  porters  who 
are  always  waiting  about  at  the  street-corners  in  Paris  would 
not  come  into  the  Garde-Meuble  at  any  price.  It  was,  how- 
ever, important  that  the  little  suite  of  rooms  should  be 
furnished  without  delay,  in  order  that  the  royal  family  might 
be  released  from  their  sufferings  in  the  uncomfortable  place 
where  they  then  were.  I  succeeded,  by  dint  of  many 
entreaties,  in  persuading  twelve  porters  whom  I  found  at 
the  door  of  Les  Feuillants  to  drag  the  trucks ;  but  we  had 
considerable  trouble  in  accomplishing  our  end  on  account  of 
the  great  crowds  that  filled  the  courts.  I  immediately  had 
the  beds  taken  up  to  the  little  suite  of  rooms  in  question, 
which  comprised  four  cells,  and  two  others  a  little  further  on 
for  Madame  Elizabeth.  At  about  seven  o'clock  in  the  evening 

1  Francois  Suleau,  editor  of  the  Actes  des  Apotres  and  of  the  journal  that 
bore  his  name,  left  his  house  on  the  10th  August  at  about  half -past  eight 
in  the  morning.     Being  recognised  and  arrested  almost  at  once,  he  was 
taken  to  the  guard-house  in  the  Cour  des  Feuillants  and  murdered  by  the 
populace,  together  with    the  Abb6  Bouyou,  MM.  de  Solminiac  and  du 
Vigier, — both  members  of  the  Body  Guard— and  five  other  victims.    Their 
bodies  were  thrown  into  the  Place  Vend6me  (see  August  Vitu,  Francois 
Suleau).     The  above  does  not  refer  to  him,  then.     But  Suleau  had  two 
brothers,  one  of  whom  contributed  later  on  to  the  Drapeau  Blanc,   a 
journal  founded  by  Martainville.     It  was  this  ardent  royalist,  doubtless, 
who  helped  Dufour  to  furnish  the  rooms  allotted  to  Louis  XVI. 's  family. 

2  On  the  10th  August,  during  the  morning  sitting,  Verniaud,  in  the 
name  of  the  Commission  of  Twelve,  brought  forward  a  bill  relating  to  the 
suspension  of  the  Head  of  the  Executive  Power. 

Article  7  of  this  bill  was  as  follows  :  "  The  King  and  his  family  will 
remain  within  the  precincts  of  the  Legislative  Assembly  until  peace  is 
restored  in  Paris." 

This  measure  was  immediately  passed  ;  in  consequence  of  which  the 
family  of  Louis  XVI.  remained  during  the  day  of  the  10th  and  part  of  the 
following  night,  in  the  reporter's  box  of  the  Logotachygraphe,  in  the  Riding 
School  of  the  Tuileries.  At  ten  o'clock  in  the  evening — the  sitting  did  not 
close  till  half-past  three  in  the  morning — some  members  commissioned  by 
the  Assembly  conducted  the  King,  the  Queen,  the  Dauphin,  Madame 
Royale,  and  Madame  Elizabeth  to  the  upper  storey  of  the  Convent  of  the 
Feuillants,  the  ground-floor  of  which  was  occupied  by  the  offices  and  Com- 
mittee-rooms of  the  Assembly.  (See  Parliamentary  Archives,  1st  series, 
vol.  XLVII,  and  the  Mtmoirea  de  Madame  de  Tourzel. ) 

6 


DUFOUR'S   NARRATIVE 

Madame  la  Comtesse  de  Tourzel  came  to  inspect  it,  and 
observed  that  the  royal  family  had  no  underlinen.  I  at  once 
made  it  my  business  to  procure  some.  It  was  difficult  to  find 
any  little  shirts  for  the  Dauphin,  but  I  succeeded  in  obtaining 
some. 

Their  Majesties  had  been  in  the  hall  of  the  Assembly 
uninterruptedly  from  nine  o'clock  in  the  morning  till  ten 
o'clock  at  night,  and  had  experienced  the  greatest  suffering 
and  every  imaginable  privation,  for  no  one  had  given  any 
thought  to  their  needs.  When  at  ten  o'clock  their  Majesties 
retired  to  the  little  suite  of  rooms  mentioned  above,1  they 
were  overcome  with  fatigue  after  their  long  sitting  in  the 
Assembly.  They  were  dying  with  thirst,  but  I  had  nothing 
but  water  to  offer  them,  and  they  were  much  inconvenienced 
by  the  small  size  of  their  quarters.  The  royal  family  were 
accompanied  by  Madame  la  Princesse  de  Lamballe,  Madame 
la  Comtesse  de  Tourzel,  Madame  Auguaire  and  Madame 
d'Egremont.2 

1  In  conformity  with  the  Assembly's  decree  some  cells  in  the  Convent  of 
Les  Feuillants  were  made  ready  for  the  reception  of  the  royal  family. 
The  King  was  alone  in  his  room  ....  the  Queen  and  Madame  were 
together  in  the  second  cell,  and  Madame  Elizabeth,  Madame  de  Lamballe, 
and  I  were  put  into  the  third  with  Monseigneur  le  Dauphin.     It  is  easy  to 
imagine  the  kind  of  night  we  passed,   distinctly  hearing  the  noise  in 
the  Assembly,  the  applause  and  clapping  in  the  galleries  ;  and  excepting 
Monseigneur  le  Dauphin  and  Madame,  who  were  so  much  overcome  with 
fatigue  that  they  fell  asleep  on  the  spot,  not  one  of  us  closed  an  eye  all 
night  .... 

"Some  commissioners  came  at  11  o'clock  at  night  to  see  if  each  of  us 
was  in  bed  in  his  or  her  allotted  cell." — Madame  de  Tourzel's  Memoires. 

2  The  spelling  of  the  names  so  inaccurately  written  by  Dufour  can  be 
easily  rectified.     Madame  Daigremont  was  the  wife  of  the  tapissier  of  the 
Assembly.     As  for  Madame  Auguaire,  she  was  Madame  Adelaide  Aughie, 
the  daughter  of  M.  Genet,   Chief  Secretary  for  Foreign  Affairs,  and  the 
sister  of  Madame  Campan.     She  had  married  M.  Aughie,  farmer-general 
of  the  duchies  of  Lorraine  and  Bar,  who  forsook  this  lucrative  position 
later  on  for  the  less  profitable  office  of  Postmaster-General.     Queen  Marie 
Antoinette  was  much  attached  to  Madame  Aughie,  whom  she  had  made 
her  first  woman-of-the-bedchamber.     On  the  6th  October,  the  20th  June, 
and  the  10th  August  Adelaide  Aughi6  bravely  stood  by  her  sovereign, 
whom  she  followed,  as  we  see,  to  Les  Feuillants.     The  Queen  called  her 
"  my  Lioness."     When  the  royal  family  were  moving  from  Les  Feuillants 
to  the  Temple  Madame  Aughi6  contrived,  at  the  moment  of  parting,  to  slip 
twelve  hundred  francs  in  gold,  which  she  always  carried  about  with  her  in 
case  of  accidents,  into  Marie  Antoinette's  hand.   When  the  Queen  appeared 
before  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal  she  was  asked  who  had  given  her  this 
money.     She  admitted  that  it  had  been  given  to  her  by  Madame  Aughi6, 
and  M.  Aughie  was  arrested.    Thanks  to  Madame  Aughi6  her  husband  was 

7 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

Their  Majesties  passed  a  fearful  night ;  for  the  terrorists 
came  close  to  their  rooms  and  recommenced  their  insults  and 
threats.  It  was  feared  that  they  would  overpower  the  sentries 
and  come  in,  and  that  a  massacre  would  follow.  I  spent  the 
night  on  a  bench  near  the  King's  rooms,  and  several  times 
I  saw  that  the  people  were  trying  to  break  in  the  grating 
that  was  at  the  end  of  the  passage.  The  sentries  had  great 
difficulty  in  restraining  these  savages. 

I  awaited  the  daylight  with  great  impatience,  hoping  that 
with  the  dawn  all  these  atrocities  would  grow  less  violent,  but 
they  continued  just  the  same. 

When  one  of  the  ladies  appeared  at  the  door  that  led  to  the 
rooms  she  was  obliged  to  retreat  at  once,  being  alarmed  by  the 
yells  outside.  Every  time  I  looked  in  the  direction  of  that 
grating  it  seemed  to  me  that  I  must  be  in  the  menagerie, 
watching  the  fury  that  the  wild  beasts  show  when  any  one 
appears  in  front  of  their  bars.1 

forgotten  for  several  months,  in  the  prisons  of  the  Terror  ;  but  all  that  she 
had  been  through  had  affected  her  mind,  and  one  day  she  wrote  a  letter  to 
the  Committee  of  Public  Safety,  saying  that  she  was  about  to  kill  herself, 
and  entreating  that  in  consideration  of  this  sacrifice  her  husband  might  be 
spared.  She  accordingly  threw  herself  out  of  the  window  and  was  killed, 
two  days  before  the  9th  Thermidor.  It  is  said  that  her  funeral  procession 
was  stopped  by  the  passing  of  the  cart  in  which  Robespierre  and  his 
accomplices  were  being  taken  to  the  scaffold.  M.  Aughie  was  set  free,  and 
remained  a  widower  with  three  daughters,  one  of  whom,  Aglae,  married 
Marshal  Ney.  (Information  supplied  by  M.  Partiot,  great-grandson  of 
Madame  Aughie. ) 

It  was  to  Madame  Aughi6  that  Marie  Antoinette  gave  the  portrait 
painted  by  the  request  of  the  Empress  Maria  Theresa,  by  the  German 
artist  Werthmuller.  It  appears  at  the  beginning  of  this  volume.  The 
Queen  was  represented  in  hunting-costume  ;  and  on  her  head  was  a  large 
felt  hat  adorned  with  a  rose  and  draped  with  a  veil  that  hung  about  her 
shoulders.  This  picture,  so  precious  on  many  grounds,  was  hidden  during 
the  Revolution,  and,  by  a  superfluity  of  precaution,  with  the  idea  of 
making  it  unrecognisable,  the  hat  was  replaced  by  a  large  peruke,  and  the 
veil  was  altered  into  a  kind  of  mantle  covering  the  dress.  Madame 
Partiot,  nee  de  la  Ville,  a  granddaughter  of  Madame  Aughie,  afterwards 
found  this  portrait  in  an  attic.  She  entrusted  it  to  Isabey,  who  undertook 
to  restore  the  original  picture,  and  did  actually  restore  the  dress.  But  he 
dared  not  ^  scrape  off  the  peruke,  [for  fear  of  being  obliged  to  touch  up  the 
face,  which  had  remained  in  its  original  state,  and  was  painted  with 
marvellous  delicacy  of  tone. 

It  was  in  this  condition,  then,  that  the  picture  was  placed  in  M. 
Partiot's  gallery,  and  it  is  he  who  has  so  kindly  allowed  us  to  reproduce 
this  hitherto  unpublished  portrait  of  the  Queen.  We  beg  him  to  accept  our 
sincere  gratitude. 

1  At  the  Feuillants  the  King  and  Queen  saw  MM.  de  Choiseul,  de 
Briges,  de  Breze,  de  Goguelat,  de  Nantouillet,  and  d'Aubier ;  and  the  last, 

8 


MARIE   ANTOINETTE   IN   HUNTING   COSTUME. 

An  unpublished  portrait  painted  by  Werthmiiller,  and  given  by  the  Queen 
to  Mme.  Anghie,  the  sister  of  Mme.  Campan.     (M.  Partiot's  Collection.) 


DUFOUR'S   NARRATIVE 

Yet  the  royal  family  were  obliged  to  pass  that  way  four 
times  a  day,  and  all  that  they  heard  and  suffered  may  be 
imagined. 

At  about  six  o'clock  in  the  morning,  remembering  that  their 
Majesties  had  eaten  nothing  throughout  the  preceding  day, 
I  began  to  devise  means  of  procuring  some  breakfast  for 
them.  Being  unable  to  apply  to  the  King's  cooks,  I  went  to 
an  eating-house  and  ordered  breakfast  to  be  prepared  ;  and  at 
half-past  eight  I  laid  the  table  and  sent  to  inform  their 
Majesties  that  breakfast  was  ready.  They  came  to  the  table ; 
but  their  sorrows  were  their  only  food.  They  raised  their 
eyes  to  heaven  and  sighed ;  and  soon  they  rose  and  returned 
to  their  rooms,  and  thence  to  the  Legislative  Assembly.1 
The  Queen  was  extremely  ill.  Indeed  it  was  astonishing  that 
she  had  the  courage  to  remain  through  such  long  sittings  in 
a  little  box  where  there  was  hardly  room  for  her,  so  closely 
packed  was  it  with  people. 

Some  of  the  gentlemen  of  the  Court  had  been  rash  enough 
to  make  their  way  into  the  corridors,  with  the  intention  of 
seeing  their  Majesties.  They  had  been  seen  as  they  came  in, 
and  suddenly  there  was  a  great  commotion  in  all  the  passages 
of  the  building.  The  people  shouted  :  "  Prince  so-and-so  is 
here,  and  others  too ! "  but,  just  as  the  search  for  them 
began,  the  tapissier  of  the  Legislative  Assembly,  with  one  of 
his  friends,  seized  them  by  the  arm  and  began  to  sing  and 
dance.  It  was  thus  that  they  escaped  the  fury  of  the  people, 
who  would,  perhaps,  have  murdered  them. 

with  respectful  sympathy,  offered  the  Queen  25  louis  and  a  cambric 
handkerchief,  "  for  hers  was  drenched  with  tears."  Being  quite  penniless 
Marie  Antoinette  accepted  the  gift,  thanking  M.  d'Aubier  with  a  heart- 
broken smile,  "which,"  he  says,  "hurt  me."  It  was  necessary  to  speak 
in  undertones  because  of  the  children,  who  were  asleep,  and  of  the  guards, 
who  could  hear  what  was  said.  In  the  next  room,  Madame  Elizabeth,  the 
Princesse  de  Lamballe,  and  Madame  de  Tourzel  were  talking  of  the  terrible 
events  that  had  succeeded  each  other  so  rapidly  and  had  reached  a  climax 
so  quickly;  and  the  Queen's  name  was  mentioned.  "I  think  she  is 
doomed,"  said  Madame  de  Lamballe  ;  "  listen."  And  indeed,  the  mob  was 
howling  under  the  windows,  and  demanding  her  head. — De  Tyre",  Marie 
Antoinette. 

1  On  the  llth  August,  at  seven  o'clock  in  the  morning,  and  not  at  nine, 
as  Dufour  intimates,  the  King  and  his  family  resumed  their  places  in  the 
box  that  had  been  assigned  to  them  on  the  previous  day. — Parliamentary 
Archives,  vol.  XLVIII. 

9 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

At  ten  o'clock  in  the  morning  I  went  to  the  house  of 
M.  Thieri  de  Vildavrai,  the  King's  first  valet-de-chambre,  and 
describing  to  him  the  deplorable  state  to  which  the  royal 
family  was  reduced,  I  asked  him  if  he  could  see  to  the 
preparation  of  their  Majesties1  dinner.  He  answered  eagerly 
that  he  was  ready  to  do  anything  that  would  tend  to  their 
comfort,  but  that  he  was  doubtful  as  to  the  possibility  of 
introducing  the  dinner  into  the  building.  I  reassured  him, 
promising  to  undertake  the  matter  myself,  and  to  carry  it  out 
with  all  possible  care. 

On  that  same  day  M.  Thieri  came  to  see  the  King,  which 
seemed  to  give  great  pleasure  to  his  Majesty,  for  this  was 
the  only  person  he  had  been  able  to  see  since  the  beginning 
of  this  sad  state  of  things.  At  two  o'clock  I  returned  to 
M.  Thieri's  house,  and  found  the  dinner  ready.  Four  men 
carried  it  in  baskets,  and  I  walked  in  front  to  make  way. 
Insults,  and  libels  on  the  royal  family,  were  flung  at  me  as 
I  passed ;  and  the  people  tried  to  raise  the  napkins,  saying 
they  felt  very  much  inclined  to  eat  the  dinner.  I  told  them 
I  kept  an  eating-house,  and  it  would  be  I  that  would  suffer 
if  they  did  so.  By  this  means  I  kept  them  quiet,  and  with 
great  difficulty  reached  my  destination. 

The  room  in  which  their  Majesties  were  to  dine  was  an 
office.  With  great  difficulty  I  obtained  leave  to  lay  the 
table,  being  helped  by  two  people  who  had  refused  to  desert 
Madame  Elizabeth.  I  allowed  them  to  go  on  with  the  work 
by  themselves  while  I  escorted  their  Majesties,  who  were 
obliged  to  walk  down  the  whole  length  of  a  long  corridor  to 
reach  the  table.  This  corridor  was  crowded  with  people,  and 
the  terrorists  were  forming  the  most  treacherous  designs. 
The  royal  family  were  exposed  to  all  the  full  fury  of  these 
men,  and  were  subjected  to  a  thousand  insults,  and  even  to 
occasional  threats.  I  did  my  best  to  be  always  with  their 
Majesties,  in  order  to  take  precautions  against  the  unpleasant- 
ness to  which  they  were  constantly  exposed,  day  and  night. 
When  their  Majesties  had  dined  they  returned  to  their 
rooms,  and  there  allowed  their  tears  to  flow  freely ;  then  they 
proceeded  to  the  Assembly.  The  crowd  very  often  gathered 
under  the  windows  of  the  King's  apartments,  and  I  went 

10 


DUFOUR'S  NARRATIVE 

down  to  listen  to  what  they  were  saying  about  their 
Majesties.  I  noticed  one  man  in  particular  who,  in  terrifying 
terms,  was  urging  the  people  to  go  upstairs  and  massacre  the 
royal  family.  His  words  made  my  blood  boil,  and,  forgetting 
the  danger  to  which  I  should  expose  myself  in  my  efforts  to 
avert  a  still  greater  peril,  I  scanned  the  faces  around  me,  and 
determined  to  chase  this  dangerous  man  away  by  force.  On 
the  following  day  at  the  same  hour  I  again  found  this 
individual  making  similar  speeches.  I  was  no  less  moved 
than  on  the  previous  day,  and  taking  the  same  precautions 
I  chased  the  monster  away  with  greater  violence  than  before. 
I  saw  him  no  more. 

A  moment  later  the  royal  family  proceeded  to  the  Assembly 
as  usual.  M.  Thieri  continued  to  visit  the  King  constantly, 
which  was  a  great  comfort  to  his  Majesty,  for  they  probably 
had  many  things  to  talk  over  together  in  connection  with 
the  melancholy  state  of  affairs.  One  day  the  King  left  the 
gallery  very  hurriedly,  and  asked  me  if  M.  Thieri  had  gone. 
u  Sire,  he  left  a  moment  ago.1' — "  I  am  sorry." — "  Sire,  I 
will  run  after  him."  I  succeeded  in  finding  him.  "  Monsieur," 
I  said,  "  it  seems  that  his  Majesty  forgot  to  say  something  to 
you."  He  returned  to  speak  to  the  King,  and  when  I  opened 
the  door  I  saw  gratitude  plainly  written  on  the  fine  face  of 
that  good  King.  M.  Thieri,  as  he  went  out,  told  me  he  had 
noticed  with  pleasure  the  care  with  which  I  served  their 
Majesties,  and  added,  that  as  soon  as  matters  were  more 
settled  I  should  be  rewarded.  On  the  following  day  his 
Majesty  honoured  me  by  expressing  his  satisfaction  with  the 
zeal  I  showed  in  serving  him. 

The  Queen  had  lost  her  locket.  This  seemed  to  distress 
her  very  much,  and  I  promised  her  to  look  for  it  with  the 
greatest  care.  I  was  fortunate  enough  to  find  it,  and  I  had 
it  returned  to  her  without  delay,  which  seemed  to  give  her 
much  pleasure.  This  locket,  or  medallion,  contained  portraits 
of  the  King,  the  Queen,  the  Dauphin,  and  Madame  Royale. 
A  little  circlet  of  gold  was  its  only  ornament. 

All  the  days  were  full,  more  or  less,  of  the  same  anxieties 
and  the  same  miseries.  On  the  fourth  day  I  absented  myself 
for  an  hour  in  order  to  go  to  my  own  home,  having  been 

11 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

unable  to  do  so  since  the  10th.  I  wished  to  change  rny  linen. 
On  my  return  I  saw  no  sentries1  at  the  gate,  nor  any  at  the 
door  of  the  King's  rooms.  The  doors  were  open.  I  entered, 
and  soon  perceived  that  something  unfortunate  had  occurred. 
I  went  down  to  see  Madame  d'Egremont,  the  wife  of  the 
tapissier  of  the  Legislative  Assembly,  and  she  told  me  sorrow- 
fully that  their  Majesties  had  been  removed  to  the  Tower  of 
the  Temple. 

"Alas,  alas!"  I  cried.  "Then  the  doom  of  the  best  of 
kings  is  sealed !  Madame,"  I  added,  "  to-day  the  troubles  of 
France  are  beginning.1'' 

I  much  regretted  having  left  the  place.  Nothing  would 
have  induced  me  to  forsake  that  illustrious  family,  even 
though  the  alternative  had  been  to  die  with  them.  I  asked 
myself:  "  Who  will  care  for  their  Majesties1  comfort  ?  Some 
Jacobins  before  whom  they  will  not  dare  to  speak.11  But 
when  I  learnt  that  M.  Clery  was  with  their  Majesties  I  was 
partly  comforted.  M.  Thieri  de  Vildavrai  fell  a  victim  to 
his  devotion,  for  he  was  stabbed  to  death. 

1  On  Monday  the  13th  the  King  was  excused  from  attending  the  sitting 
of  the  Assembly,  and  the  morning  was  spent  in  making  preparations  for 
moving  to  the  Temple. 


THE   ROHAN-CHABOT   INCIDENT 

(THE  NIGHT  OF  THE  HTH  AUGUST,  1792) 

THE  history  of  the  four  days  of  the  imprisonment  endured 
by  the  royal  family  in  the  Feuillants,  from  the  10th  to  the  13th 
August,  1792,  has  never  been  written.  For  the  narrative  that 
we  have  just  read  is  merely  an  anecdote  related  by  one  who 
played  a  very  insignificant  part  on  the  occasion,  and  saw  only 
one  side  of  the  affair. 

There  are  still  fewer  details  in  the  stories  of  those  who  were 
in  more  important  positions.  Madame  de  Tourzel,  Goguelat, 
and  even  the  Duchesse  d'Angouleme  herself,  are  dumb  with 
regard  to  this  first  period  of  Louis  XVI. 's  imprisonment.  The 
course  of  events  was  so  rapid,  the  general  feeling  of  surprise  so 
great,  the  climax  so  sudden,  that  the  actors  in  the  drama  were 
reduced  to  a  state  of  coma,  so  to  speak,  by  the  reaction  following 
upon  their  feverish  time  of  waiting,  and  were  really  hardly  con- 
scious of  what  was  taking  place. 

Nevertheless  it  was  these  eighty  hours  that  constituted  the 
real  crisis  in  the  affairs  of  the  Monarchy. 

As  long  as  the  King's  fate  was  uncertain,  hope  was  still 
possible  to  those  faithful  followers  who  stood  by  him  to  the  end. 
They  were  allowed  to  approach  their  master,  to  receive  his  orders, 
to  take  counsel  with  him ;  and  no  doubt  these  last  hours  were 
occupied  in  trying  to  devise  some  means  of  duping  the  victorious 
party  and  robbing  them  of  their  prisoners. 

What  mad  schemes  were  formed  in  those  four  little  rooms  of 
the  Feuillants  ?  What  daring  deeds  were  suggested,  yet  never 
definitely  determined  upon  ?  We  do  not  know.  But  there  are 
certain  documents  that  testify  so  plainly  both  to  the  tenacious 
courage  of  the  royal  family's  supporters,  and  to  the  fears  of  the 
Assembly  that  they  would  be  robbed  of  their  hostages,  that  we 

13 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

are  justified  in  believing  some  plan  of  escape  did  actually  exist, 
some  plan  which  the  King,  having  learnt  the  hard  lesson  of 
Varennes,  no  doubt  rejected. 

The  incident  initiated  by  the  deputy  of  Grangeneuve  during 
the  evening  sitting  of  August  llth  is  rather  a  vague  piece  of 
evidence,  but  it  is  valuable  in  default  of  anything  better :  for 
besides  being  a  plain  indication  of  the  anxiety  of  the  Assembly 
and  the  determination  of  the  royalists,  it  was  also  the  first  essay 
in  the  judicial  methods  of  the  revolutionaries.  Later  on,  under 
the  r6gime  of  the  Law  of  the  Suspect,  Fouquier-Tinville  adopted 
exactly  the  same  procedure  that  was  used  when,  on  this  occasion, 
the  Legislative  Assembly  assumed  the  functions  of  a  court  of 
law. 

We  will  give  the  official  documents  verbatim. 

(Legislative  Assembly. — Sitting  of  the  \\th  August,  1792,  in 
the  evening.) 

M.  GRANGENEUVE. — I  wish  to  inform  the  Assembly  of 
an  extremely  important  fact.  As  I  was  on  my  way  to  the 
Comite  de  Surveillance  I  saw,  in  the  neighbourhood  of  that 
Committee,  fifty  or  sixty  men  professing  to  be  National 
Guards.  I  met  among  them  a  certain  Prince  de  Poix  and 
many  people  of  that  sort.  Gentlemen,  as  long  as  such  people 
as  these  are  near  the  King  we  cannot  answer  for  him.  I 
call  upon  the  Assembly  to  decree  that  the  King  and  his 
family  shall  be  moved  without  delay  to  some  other  place, 
for  it  is  impossible  for  the  Comite  de  Surveillance  to  continue 
their  work  in  the  present  state  of  things.1  I  would  remark, 
in  the  first  place,  that  perhaps  plots  are  being  made  at  this 
moment  to  carry  off  the  King. 

M.  GALON,  Superintendent  of  the  Hall. — It  was  the  officer 
in  command  of  the  guard  who  gave  the  King  a  guard 
of  twenty-five  men.  At  the  time  these  gentlemen  noticed 
that  there  were  fifty  of  them  the  guard  was  being  relieved. 

M.  CHOUDIEU. — I  wish  to  propose  some  resolutions  that  are 
of  the  utmost  importance  and  should  be  adopted  on  the  spot 
by  the  Assembly.  The  first  is  that  the  Assembly  should 

1  The  cells  in  which  the  royal  family  were  lodged  were  used  as  an  office 
by  the  Comite  de  Surveillance  of  the  Assembly. 

14 


THE  ROHAN-CHABOT   INCIDENT 

find  out  the  name  of  the  man  who  is  at  this  moment  in 
command  of  the  guard  of  the  National  Assembly  and  of 
the  King,  so  that  he  may  be  made  responsible. 

The  second  is  that  the  names  of  those  who  are  about 
the  King's  person,  as  well  as  the  names  of  his  guard,  should 
be  made  known  to  the  Assembly,  in  order  that  we  may  know 
if  they  are  really  National  Guards. 

The  third  is  that  the  Assembly  should  pass  sentence 
of  death  upon  every  man  who  shall  be  found  wearing  the 
uniform  of  a  National  Guard  without  being  enrolled  in  a 
battalion.  All  these  measures  are  indispensable,  and  I 
demand  that  they  may  be  put  to  the  vote.  I  believe  that 
the  safety  of  Paris,  of  the  Assembly,  and  of  the  King, 
depends  upon  them. 

M.  THumoT.1 — I  should  like  to  add  to  these  yet  another 
resolution  :  namely,  that  the  National  Assembly  should  decree 
that,  until  the  King  and  his  family  are  removed  to  the 
place  where  they  are  to  reside,  no  person  shall  be  admitted 
to  his  presence  without  special  permission  to  that  effect 
from  the  National  Assembly, — and  that  this  should  be 
considered  in  connection  with  M.  Choudieu's  last  proposition. 

M.  GRANGENEUVE. — Let  us  adjourn  ! 

M.  THURIOT. — But  I  do  not  wish  to  adjourn.  I  call  upon 
the  Assembly  to  decree  on  the  spot  that  every  man  found 
wearing  the  uniform  of  a  National  Guard  without  being  en- 
rolled shall  be  condemned  to  be  three  years  in  irons.  I  think 
that  penalty  is  sufficiently  severe. 

(The  Assembly  then  adopted  the  two  first  measures 
proposed  by  M.  Choudieu,  referred  the  second  resolution 
of  M.  Thuriot  to  the  Legislative  Committee,  and  took  no 
action  with  regard  to  the  last.) 

M.  CHOUDIEU. — I  propose  that  the  gendarmerie  who  form 
your  guard  and  have,  hitherto,  shared  the  labours  of  the 
National  Guard  with  so  much  zeal  and  public  spirit,  shall 
also  share  with  that  body  the  duty  of  guarding  the  King. 

1  Thuriot  had  just  come  back  from  the  Guildhall,  whither  he  had  hast- 
ened to  inform  the  Commune  "  that  a  plot  was  being  formed  to  carry  off 
the  King,  and  the  guard  was  not  sufficiently  strong  "  ;  and  to  beg  that  the 
measures  necessary  to  meet  this  danger  might  be  taken  as  quickly  as 
possible  (Proces-verbaux  de  la  Commune  de  Paris,  11  aout). 

15 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

(The  Assembly  passed  this  resolution.) 

M.  BREARD. — I  propose  that  two  members  of  the  Comite 
de  Surveillance  should  be  authorised  to  inspect  the  posts  of 
all  the  sentinels  stationed  round  the  Assembly,  to  make  sure 
that  all  is  well,  and  report  upon  them  to  the  Assembly. 

(The  Assembly  passed  this  new  resolution.) 

A  CITIZEN  appeared  at  the  bar,  introducing  a  man  who 
had  been  loitering  under  the  King's  windows,  and  whose 
intentions  seemed  suspicious. 

M.  CHOUDIEU. — I  propose  that  M.  le  President  should  be 
authorised  to  give  orders  that  those  who  are  with  the  King 
shall  be  prevented  from  leaving  him ;  I  propose  that  the 
King  should  be  requested  to  give  the  names  of  those  who  are 
with  him ;  and  as  soon  as  you  know,  by  means  of  this  list, 
that  M.  Narbonne,  M.  de  Poix,  and  others,  are  with  the 
King  instead  of  being  at  their  posts,  I  shall  propose  that 
they  be  brought,  under  a  strong  and  reliable  guard,  to  the 
bar  of  the  Assembly,  to  give  an  account  of  their  conduct 
and  the  motives  that  bring  them  here.1  (Cheers.) 

(The  Assembly  passed  M.  Choudieu's  resolution.) 

M.  ROHAN-CHABOT,  in  the  dress  of  a  private  individual, 
was  conducted  to  the  bar  by  the  citizen  mentioned  above. 

THE  PRESIDENT  (Franpais  de  Nantes). — Sir,  the  National 
Assembly  will  be  glad  to  learn  who  you  are. 

M.  ROHAN-CHABOT. — I  am  a  grenadier  in  the  battalion  of 
L'Abbaye-Saint-Germain.  I  was  on  duty  yesterday.  When 
the  King  came  from  the  Tuileries  to  the  National  Assembly 
I  was  one  of  those  who  accompanied  him.  I  remained  here 
until  five  o'clock  in  the  morning,  at  which  hour  those  who 
were  not  in  the  King's  Guard  were  told  that  they  might  go 
away  if  they  had  nothing  more  to  do.  I  went  to  change  my 
linen  and  other  clothes.  I  returned,  to  be  with  the  King, 
for  I  have  not  left  him  since  he  has  been  here.  I  saw  no 

1  It  is  evident  that  the  debates  of  the  Assembly  were  regulated  from 
the  Guildhall,  by  the  Comrrmne  of  Paris.  For  we  see  in  the  minutes  of 
the  municipal  meeting  of  the  llth  that  attention  is  called  to  "  the  presence 
of  unauthorised  patrols  in  the  vicinity  of  Les  Feuillants  ;  M.  de  Poix  and 
de  Narbonne  are  with  the  King  ;  some  National  Guards  wearing  white 
rosettes  are  intending  to  carry  off  the  King  to-night."  The  legislative 
body  was  on  this  occasion,  it  is  plain,  merely  the  faithful  and  obedient 
echo  of  the  municipal  body  of  the  insurrectionists. 

16 


THE  ROHAN-CHABOT    INCIDENT 

one  with  him  but  those  who  are  attached  to  his  person,  such 
as  M.  Tourzel,  M.  de  Poix,  and  M.  Debris,  and  two  or  three 
others  as  well.  When  I  came  here  I  was  told  that  those  who 
were  with  the  King  were  to  stay.  I  know  nearly  all  of  them, 
so  I  wished  to  find  out  about  them.  I  asked,  therefore, 
where  the  concierge  lived,  and  made  a  messenger  from  the 
office  take  me  to  her  house.  And  it  was  just  as  I  was  entering 
her  house  that  I  was  stopped  and  brought  before  you  by  the 
person  who  told  you  I  had  been  loitering  for  a  long  time 
under  the  King's  windows.  I  defy  him  to  prove  that  I 
remained  there  for  longer  than  one  minute.  A  messenger, 
as  I  have  just  said,  was  showing  me  the  way  when  this  person, 
who  stopped  me  and  whom  I  do  not  know,  seized  me  by  the 
coat  and  said  to  me :  "  Sir,  you  are  prowling  about  in  the 
neighbourhood  of  the  King,  and  you  will  follow  me  to  the 
Assembly."  I  answered  :  "  Willingly — for  my  conscience  does 
not  reproach  me  for  anything,  and  I  defy  anyone  to  prove 
that  I  am  a  spy.11 

A  MEMBER. — This  gentleman  says  he  has  been  on  guard 
near  the  King's  person  from  yesterday  morning  until  this 
morning.  Would  you  be  kind  enough  to  question  him  as  to 
what  battalion  he  is  serving  in  ? 

THE  PRESIDENT. — In  what  battalion  are  you  serving  ? 

M.  ROHAN-CHABOT. — I  have  had  the  honour  of  telling  you 
that  I  am  in  the  battalion  of  L'Abbaye-Saint-Germain. 

THE  PRESIDENT. — Were  you  ordered  on  duty  yesterday  at 
the  palace  ? 

M.  ROHAN-CHABOT. — I  was  about  to  do  myself  the  honour 
of  finishing  what  I  had  to  say  when  M.  le  President  interrupted 
me.  I  believe  that  my  battalion  was  at  the  palace :  but  on 
the  evening  of  the  day  before  yesterday  I  was  told  that  fears 
were  entertained  for  the  King's  safety,  and  that  the  palace 
was  guarded  :  and  so  I  went  there  myself. 

M.  HAUSSMANN. — Then,  as  the  gentleman  went  to  the 
palace  without  orders,  he  should  be  taken  to  his  own  section 
and  examined  there. 

M.  MARIBON-MONTAUT. — I  wish  to  observe,  gentlemen, 
that  the  citizen  at  the  bar  shows  an  astonishing  ignorance  of 
his  duty.  He  is  a  grenadier,  he  says,,  in  a  battalion,  and  he 

17  c 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

does  not  know  that  when  the  alarm  is  beaten  his  post  is 
with  his  battalion.  The  citizen  at  the  bar  is  guilty,  in  that 
he  was  with  the  King  without  orders,  and  that  he  was  not 
with  his  battalion.  I  call  upon  you,  then,  to  send  the  citizen 
to  prison.  (Cheers.) 

M.  BREARD. — I  wish  to  observe  that  this  person  is  said  to 
have  been  an  aide-de-camp  to  M.  La  Fayette  and  a  member 
of  the  King's  Guard.  I  beg  you  will  ask  him  if  it  is  true. 

THE  PRESIDENT. — Were  you  aide-de-camp  to  M.  de  la 
Fayette  after  the  beginning  of  the  Revolution  ? 

M.  ROHAN-CHABOT. — Yes,  Monsieur. 

THE  PRESIDENT. — And  was  it  after  that  time  that  you 
served  in  the  King's  Guard  ? 

M.  ROHAN-CHABOT. — Yes,  Monsieur. 

THE  PRESIDENT. — Since  when  have  you  been  in  the 
National  Guard  ? 

M.  ROHAN-CHABOT. — Since  the  beginning  of  the  Revolution, 
except  during  the  time  that  I  was  aide-de-camp  to  M.  La 
Fayette  and  serving  in  the  King's  Guard. 

THE  PRESIDENT. — What  was  your  father's  profession  ? 

M.  ROHAN-CHABOT. — He  had  none. 

THE  PRESIDENT. — What  is  your  name  ? 

M.  ROHAN-CHABOT. — ROHAN-CHABOT  ;  but  I  may  add  that 
I  only  use  the  name  of  CHABOT. 

THE  PRESIDENT. — Have  you  always  served  in  the  same 
battalion  since  you  were  enrolled  in  the  National  Guard  ? 

M.  ROHAN-CHABOT. — Always,  Monsieur  le  President,  except 
during  the  time  when  I  was  aide-de-camp  to  M.  La  Fayette 
and  was  serving  in  the  King's  Guard. 

THE  PRESIDENT. — When  M.  La  Fayette  came  to  the  Na- 
tional Assembly  did  you  accompany  him  as  his  aide-de-camp  ? 

M.  ROHAN-CHABOT. — M.  le  President,  it  is  a  long  time 
since  I  was  M.  La  Fayette's  aide-de-camp ;  I  did  not  accom- 
pany him  when  he  appeared  at  this  bar,  and  I  was  not 
within  the  precincts  of  the  legislative  body  when  he  came 
here. 

M.  CHOUDIEU. — I  beg  that  the  gentleman  may  be  questioned, 
not  as  to  whether  he  accompanied  M.  La  Fayette  to  the  bar 
as  his  aide-de-camp,  because  we  all  know  that  M.  La  Fayette 

18 


THE  ROHAN-CHABOT  INCIDENT 

appeared  there  alone,  and  that  the  aides-de-camp  were  at  the 
door  of  the  Hall,  but  simply  as  to  whether  he  accompanied 
M.  La  Fayette  at  all.  Speaking  for  myself,  I  believe  this 
gentleman  was  an  aide-de-camp  on  the  pccasion,  and  I  am 
even  prepared  to  assert  it  definitely,  unless  he  denies  the  fact 
in  so  many  words. 

M.  ROHAN-CHABOT. — I  do  not  know  if  I  shall  be  believed, 
but  I  give  my  word  of  honour  that  I  was  not. 

M.  CHOUDIEU. — Then  I  assure  the  National  Assembly  that 
I  make  no  assertion  to  the  contrary. 

M.  MARIBON-MONTAUT. — We  know  perfectly  well  who  the 
gentleman  is,  and  what  he  was  doing  here.  I  therefore  beg 
to  insist  upon  my  first  proposal ;  namely,  that  he  should  be 
put  under  arrest,  examined  by  a  magistrate,  and  sent  back 
to  his  section.  I  would  further  suggest  that  his  papers 
should  be  sealed.  He  is  sure  to  be  well-informed  as  to  the 
plots  that  were  exposed  yesterday,  and  I  feel  almost  ready  to 
declare  with  certainty  that  he  has,  at  his  house,  papers  of  the 
highest  importance.  I  call  upon  the  Assembly  to  insist  upon 
his  giving  his  address  before  he  leaves  the  bar,  and  to  have 
his  papers  sealed  before  he  is  set  free. 

(The  Assembly  passed  this  resolution.) 

M.  ROHAN-CHABOT. — I  live  in  the  Rue  de  Seine,  in  the 
house  of  my  brother-in-law,  M.  La  Rochefoucauld. 

M.  ARCHIER. — I  propose  that  the  citizen  should  be  made 
to  place  upon  the  table  any  papers  that  he  may  have  on  him, 
to  be  handed  over  to  the  magistrate. 

(The  Assembly  adopted  M.  Archier's  resolution.) 

A  MEMBER. — I  propose,  as  an  amendment,  that  the  papers 
in  question  should  be  numbered  and  initialed  by  the  secre- 
taries of  the  Assembly. 

(The  Assembly  adopted  this  amendment.) 

THE  PRESIDENT. — Sir,  you  have  heard  the  terms  of  the 
decree. 

M.  ROHAN-CHABOT. — Here  are  two  pocket-books.  One  of 
them,  the  smaller,  contains  some  assignats  ;  the  other  contains 
various  papers.  I  have  nothing  else — you  can  search  me. 

SEVERAL  MEMBERS. — No,  no  ! 

M.  ARCHIER. — I  propose  that  a  paper  band  should  be  put 

19  c  2 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

on   the   pocket-book  containing   papers,  and  that   the   one 
containing  assignats  should  be  returned  to  Monsieur. 

(The  Assembly  decreed  that  the  first  pocket-book  should 
be  returned  to  M.  Rohan-Chabot,  and  that  the  second, 
without  being  opened,  should  be  sealed  with  the  seal  of  the 
Assembly  on  two  paper  bands,  upon  which  the  Sieur  Chabot 
and  one  of  the  secretaries  should  write  their  signatures. 

M.  FAUCHET. — I  propose  that  M.  Rohan-Chabot  should  be 
placed  under  arrest  and  taken  to  his  section,  with  a  sufficient 
guard. 

(The  Assembly  adopted  M.  Fauchet's  resolution.) 
M.  HAUSSMANN. — I  propose  that  the  officer  in  charge  of 
M.  Rohan-Chabot  should  be  entrusted  with  the  decree 
enjoining  upon  the  section  to  seal  up  his  papers v  and  that 
the  committee  of  the  section  should  supply  the  legislative  body 
with  a  list  of  the  papers  enclosed  in  the  pocket-book  we 
are  sending  them. 

(The  Assembly  passed  M.  Haussmann's  resolution.) 
M.  ROHAN-CHABOT  left  the  Hall,  accompanied  by  the  guard.1 
M.  GRANGENEUVE. — Having  been  charged  by  the  Assembly 
to  visit  the  posts  of  all  the  sentinels   round   the   building, 
I  have  seen  them  all  and  found  everthing  quiet.     There  are 
lights  in  the  garden ;  a  strict  watch  is  being  kept ;  and  the 
Assembly  may  feel  secure  as  to  their  own  safety  and  that  of 
those  who  have  been  entrusted  to  them.     (Cheers.) 

1  He  was  taken  to  the  Abbaye  prison,  and  died  in  the  massacre  of 
2nd  Sept. 


THE  TEMPLE 

(AUGUST  13TH,  1792 — AUGUST  IST,  1793) 

THE  Assembly,,  however,  did  not  really  feel  secure.  They 
wished  to  keep  the  King  imprisoned,,  but  at  the  same  time  feared 
lest  their  hostage  should  be  wrested  from  them,  and  showed  a 
feverish  anxiety  to  be  delivered  from  their  difficult  charge.  On 
this  subject  the  Legislative  Assembly  and  the  Commune  of  Paris 
— which,  we  must  not  forget,  was  an  insurrectionary  and  not  an 
elected  body — engaged  in  a  duel,  of  which,  though  a  detailed 
account  of  it  would  be  instructive  in  more  ways  than  one,  we 
will  be  content  to  note  only  the  principal  incidents. 

On  the  10th  August  the  Legislative  Assembly  had  decreed 
that,  as  soon  as  order  was  restored,  the  royal  family  should  be 
removed  to  the  Luxembourg,  since  the  Tuileries  had  been 
rendered  uninhabitable  by  the  depredations  of  the  mob.  On  the 
morning  of  the  llth  August  the  Commune  begged  the  Assembly 
to  rescind  their  decree  of  the  previous  day,  on  the  grounds  that 
the  Luxembourg  was  difficult  to  guard  ;  suggested  the  Temple, 
which  contained  both  a  sumptuous  palace  and  a  deserted  tower ; 
and  cleverly  leaving  it  uncertain  which  of  the  two  buildings  was 
to  shelter  the  prisoners,  laid  great  stress  upon  the  advantages  to 
be  derived  from  the  large  garden  that  surrounded  the  buildings. 

The  Assembly,  tired  of  the  discussion,  revoked  their  decree, 
and  sent  the  suggestion  of  the  Commune  to  the  Commission  of 
Twelve. 

An  hour  later  a  new  deputation  from  the  municipal  body 
appeared  at  the  bar,  offering  to  lodge  the  prisoners  in  the  Arch- 
bishop's palace.  This  proposition,  like  the  first,  was  sent  on  to 
the  Commission. 

On  the  following  day,  the  12th  August,  it  was  discovered  that 
the  Episcopal  Palace  had  the  same  disadvantages  as  the  Luxem- 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

bourg  :  there  were  underground  passages  connecting  it  with  the 
river,  which  might  make  escape  possible.  The  Assembly  forth- 
with decreed  that  the  King  and  his  family  should  be  lodged  in 
the  house  of  the  Minister  of  Justice,  in  the  Place  Vendome, 
which  was  to  be  fitted  up  with  furniture  from  the  Tuileries.  But 
the  Commune  still  expressed  dissatisfaction.  The  Hotel  de  la 
Chancellerie  was  a  palace,  and  it  was  in  a  prison  that  one  wished 
to  keep  one's  enemies.  A  fresh  deputation  insisted  upon  the 
revocation  of  this  second  decree,  and  upon  the  imprisonment  of 
the  royal  family  in  the  Temple,  "  whither  they  should  be  con- 
ducted with  all  the  respect  due  to  misfortune." 

Once  more  the  Assembly  obediently  yielded  :  they  revoked 
their  decree,  and,  tired  of  the  struggle,  decided  to  leave  "  the 
choice  of  the  King's  residence  and  the  guarding  of  his  person  " 
in  the  hands  of  the  Commune  of  Paris.  In  consequence  of  this, 
towards  the  evening  of  the  13th  August,  Louis  XVI.,  Marie 
Antoinette,  Madame  Royale,  the  Dauphin,  and  Madame  Elizabeth 
were  removed,  under  a  strong  guard,  to  the  Temple.  With  the 
exception  of  the  respect  due  to  misfortune  the  affair  was  conducted 
in  accordance  with  the  decision  of  the  Commune.  The  Assembly 
had  triumphed  over  one  master,  but  had  found  another  and  a  far 
more  exacting  one ! 

The  topography  of  the  Temple  during  the  revolutionary 
period  has  never  been  dealt  with  at  all  thoroughly.  Many 
historians  have  gone  into  the  subject  at  great  length,  but  unfor- 
tunately without  taking  the  trouble  to  refer  to  the  original 
documents. 

Beauchesne,  for  instance,  was  content  to  base  his  book  on 
Louis  XVII.  upon  a  plan  of  the  Precincts  of  the  Temple  in  1811, 
which  he  borrowed  from  Barillet's  Recherches  sur  le  Temple, 
changing  nothing — except  the  date !  He  put  it  before  his 
readers,  that  is  to  say,  as  a  plan  of  the  Temple  in  1 793. 

Although  the  entire  subversion  of  the  district  makes  it  difficult 
to  form  a  correct  plan  of  the  original  building,  yet  perhaps  it  is 
not  too  late  to  attempt  to  throw  light  on  this  interesting  point  in 
the  topography  of  Paris.  This  we  have  endeavoured  to  do,  by 
constructing  a  plan,  house  by  house,  of  the  surroundings  of  the 
Temple  Tower  as  they  existed  in  1792,  and  by  following,  with 
the  help  of  the  original  documents  in  the  Archives,  the  various 
changes  that  the  Revolution  brought  about  in  the  general  arrange- 
ment of  the  buildings. 


THE   TEMPLE 

Let  us  remember  that  there  were  within  the  Temple  Precincts 
three  groups  of  buildings  destined  for  very  different  purposes  : 
1st :  The  palace  and  its  offices,  devoted  until  1789  to  the  use  of 
the  Comte  d' Artois  ;  2ndly,  the  old  Commandery  l  (court-house, 
chapter-house,  priory,  cloisters,  church,  etc.) ;  and  Srdly,  the 
private  buildings  that  had  been  erected  one  by  one  within  the 
Precincts,  and  formed  a  sort  of  little  town,  with  its  gates,  its 
guard,  its  own  magistrates  and  its  own  market.  This  last  group 
of  houses  we  have  omitted  from  our  plan,  as  it  played  no  part  in 
the  events  of  the  revolution. 

The  entrance,  the  only  entrance  to  the  Temple  Precincts  before 
1789,  was  an  enormous  archway,  set  obliquely  in  a  recess  in  the 
Rue  du  Temple.  (Plan  A.  The  surroundings  of  the  Temple  in 
August,  1792.  No.  1.)  It  is  true  that  in  the  same  street,  almost 
at  the  corner  of  the  Rue  de  la  Corderie,  there  was  another  door 
with  a  portico  (same  plan,  No.  2),  but  this  only  led  to  the  palace 
of  the  Comte  d' Artois.  The  court  (3)  of  this  palace  was  huge, 
and  the  end  near  the  street  was  in  the  form  of  a  semicircle.  It 
was  surrounded  by  a  path  shaded  by  trees.  Two  gates  (4)  led  to 
the  offices  ;  namely  the  Cour  des  Cuisines  (6),  from  which  a  covered 
passage  (7)  led  into  the  Temple  Precincts  ;  the  Cour  du  Garde- 
Meuble  (8)  ;  and  the  Cour  couverte  or  covered  court  (9). 

The  palace  itself  was  entered  by  two  nights  of  steps — five  steps 
in  each  (10).  The  usual  entrance  was  in  the  south  wing,  where 
the  rooms  of  the  Comte  d' Artois  were  situated.  Near  the  door 
was  a  wide  staircase  (11)  leading  to  the  first  storey;  then  came 
the  first  ante-room  (12),  the  guards'  room — which  is  faithfully 
represented  in  Olivier's  pretty  picture  in  the  Versailles  Museum 
— (13),  and  a  salon,  lighted  by  six  windows  overlooking  the 
garden  (14).  Between  this  and  the  Rue  de  la  Corderie  were  the 
private  rooms  ;  the  bedroom  of  the  Comte  d' Artois  (15),  the 
Turkish  room  (16),  the  library  (17),  a  dressing-room  (18),  a  bath- 
room and  its  heating  apparatus  (19  and  20). 

It  is  by  the  help  of  the  architect  Bellange's  unpublished 
drawings  in  the  Print  Room  that  we  have  been  able  to  make  a 
detailed  plan  of  this  part  of  the  palace.2 

1  (I.e.  the  Manor  belonging  to  the  Knights  Templars. — Translator's 
note). 

a  It  was  in  these  rooms  that  it  was  at  first  intended  to  lodge  the  royal 
family.  On  the  13th  August  the  Commune  were  not  agreed  on  the 
subject :  "  The  discussion  opened,  and  several  members  combated  the 
proposition  that  the  King  should  be  confined  in  the  Temple  Palace  rather 

23 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

The  central  portion  of  the  building  contained  a  billiard-room 
(21),  a  large  salon  (22),  and  a  reception  room  (23),  which  was 
doubtless  the  room  represented  in  Olivier's  picture  in  the  Louvre  : 
Un  the  chez  la  princesse  de  Conti,  au  Temple.  The  left,  or  north 
wing,  finally,  comprised  two  salons  (24  and  35)  and  the  room  of 
the  Comte  d'Artois'  first  valet-de-chambre  (26).  A  flight  of  stairs 
(28)  led  from  the  large  salon  to  the  garden.  Another  flight  of 
steps  led  from  the  terrace  outside  the  prince's  private  rooms  (29) 
to  a  small  private  garden.  A  courtyard  and  some  offices  (30  and 
31)  completed  the  palace  proper. 

If  we  now  return  to  the  great  gateway  and  enter  the  Precincts, 
the  first  thing  we  see  on  the  right  will  be  a  mass  of  confused 
buildings  forming  the  Court  of  the  Indemnity  (32),  the  word  Court 
being  used  in  its  Parisian  sense  of  a  district  or  close.  A  passage, 
covered  at  both  ends  (33)  separated  these  buildings  from  the 
offices  of  the  palace,  and  was  called  the  Passage  of  the  Indemnity. 
Its  eastern  extremity  led  into  the  Stables  (6 1),  while  to  wards  the 
west  it  ended  in  the  Court  of  the  Little  Fortress  (34).  On  the 
left  of  the  main  entrance  (1)  was  the  house  of  the  gatekeeper  of 
the  Precincts  (35),  and  close  beside  it  stood  that  of  the  beadle  of 
the  church  (36). 

The  figures  37  show  the  positions  of  two  sentry  boxes.  The 
Temple  Precincts  had,  as  we  have  said,  their  own  court  of  justice  ; 
they  had  also,  therefore,  their  own  prison  (38),  and  close  beside 
it  a  chapel  reserved  for  the  prisoners.  It  was  reached  by  a  sort 
of  cul-de-sac  (39). 

The  centre  of  the  Great  Court  of  the  Precincts  (40)  was 
obstructed  by  a  group  of  barracks,  which  remained  standing  long 
after  the  period  of  the  Revolution.  Behind  these  barracks  was 
a  covered  way  (53)  leading  to  the  old  Commandery.  Another 
passage,  a  long  one  (41),  burrowed  under  the  conventual 
buildings,  behind  which  was  an  alley  called  the  Petite  JRx  ^56), 
leading,  like  the  Rue  Haute  (55),  to  the  Cour  du  Chameau  (aC), 
where  stood  the  remains  of  an  old  tower  known  as  the  Tour  de 
Cesar  (57).  For  the  other  buildings  in  the  Precincts  we  refer  the 
reader  to  the  little  plan  on  p.  25. 

The  Commandery,  as  we  have  said,  was  reached  by  a  covered 
passage  (53).  To  right  and  left  were  two  fragments  of  the 

than  in  the  Tower ;  when  the  discussion  closed  it  was  decreed  that  the 
resolution  naming  the  Tower  should  be  adhered  to."  (Minutes  of  the 
Commune  of  Paris,  13th  Aug. ) 


GENERAL  PLAN   OF  THE   TEMPLE   PRECINCTS   IN    1792. 

The  enclosure  of  the  Temple,  of  which  at  the  end  of  the  eighteenth 
century  the  original  form  was  still  unchanged,  was  a  huge  demesne 
covering  about  125  hectares.  The  territory  was  enclosed  by  walls,  and 
was  so  enormous  that  the  dependants  of  the  Grand  Priory  could  not  make 
use  of  the  whole  of  it.  Permission  was  therefore  given  for  the  building  of 
houses  for  artisans,  who  by  living  in  this  privileged  enclosure  were  able  to 
evade  the  rules  and  regulations  of  their  corporations.  Then,  one  by  one, 
private  houses  were  erected,  and  the  enclosure  became  a  veritable  town, 
whose  inhabitants,  in  1789,  numbered  4,000  (Mercier,  Tableau  de  Paris). 

The  accompanying  plan  will  suffice  to  give  an  idea  of  this  strange 
agglomeration  at  the  beginning  of  the  Revolution. 

1  Gateway  of  the  Temple. — 2  Old  building  of  the  Commandery. — 
3  Buildings  erected  about  1750  and  known  as  the  new  buildings. — 4  The 
Baths,  formerly  called  the  Hotel  Poirier.— 5  Hdtel  de  Boisboudran. — 
6  Hotel  de  Guise. — 7  Hotel  de  Boufflers,  and  its  fine  English  garden. — 
8  Treasury  of  the  Grand  Priory. — 9  Cour  de  la  Corderie  (this  court  and 
part  of  the  Treasury  are  still  in  existence). — 10  Rue  de  la  Rotonde. — 
11  The  Rotunda. — 12  Caesar's  Tower. — 13  Remains  of  a  Roman  building. 
—14  Cour  du  Lion  d'Or. — 15  Cour  du  Chameau  and  alley  of  the  same 
name. — 16  Rue  Haute. — 17  A  little  street. — 18  Barracks.— 19  Hotel  du 
Bel-Air.— 20  Remains  of  the  Cloisters.— 21  The  Prior's  house.— 22  Church. 
—23  Cemetery.— 24  Chapter  House.— 25  Hotel  de  Rostaing. — 26  Bailliage. 
—27  Palace  of  the  Grand  Prior.— 28  Public  Garden.— 29  Slaughter-house. 
—30  Kitchen  of  the  Palace.— 31  Stables.— 34  and  35  Fountains. 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

ancient  cloisters  (42)  forming  a  right  angle,  and  bordering  the 
court  that  surrounded  the  Church  (54).  The  church  itself  com- 
prised a  porch  (4-3),  a  rotunda  (44),  the  nave,  or  main  body  of  the 
building  (45),  the  Chapel  of  the  Holy  Name  of  Jesus  (46),  the 
Chapel  of  Notre  Dame  de  Lorette  (47),  a  bell-tower  (48),  the 
Chapel  of  Saint  Pantaleon  (49),  and  a  sacristy  (51)  opening  into 
the  little  yard  (50).  The  plan  of  this  church  has  been  very 
skilfully  traced  out  by  M.  de  Curzon  in  La  Maison  du  Temple 
de  Paris,  so  we  will  say  no  more  on  the  subject. 

Suffice  it  to  say  that  the  Temple  Church  was  closed  in  1791, 
but  remained  standing  throughout  the  time  that  Louis  XVI.  and 
his  family  were  imprisoned  in  the  neighbouring  Tower.  The 
State  did  not  take  possession  of  it  till  the  1 9th  August,  1 796.  It 
was  bought  for  187,500  livres  in  paper  money,  or  4,008  francs  in 
gold,  by  a  man  called  Carlet  who  lived  in  the  Precincts  and  had 
formerly  been  a  wig-maker.  He  pulled  down  the  church  and 
sold  the  materials. 

The  Cemetery  of  the  Precincts  (52)  was  beyond  the  east  end  of 
the  church.  The  house  of  the  vicar-prior  was  quite  near  to  it  (60). 

The  Comte  d'Artois,  in  the  character  of  Grand  Prior,  had 
added  the  offices  of  the  old  Commandery  to  the  outbuildings  of 
his  own  palace,  and  had  made  them  into  stables  (62),  for  which 
reason  the  yard  that  they  surrounded  was  called  the  Stable 
Court  (6l).  They  were  all  insignificant  buildings,  or  sheds,  and 
may  be  seen  on  p.  25.  This  sketch  was  actually  taken  in  the 
Stable  Court,  the  artist  being  seated  at  the  point  marked  A  in 
plan  A. 

A  passage  (63)  led  from  the  court  surrounding  the  church  (54) 
to  the  public  gardens  of  the  Temple  (83).  The  archway  that 
undermined  the  gallery  (77) — to  which  we  will  return  later — was 
at  a  lower  level  than  the  rest  of  the  passage,  and  after  passing 
through  it,  it  was  necessary  to  climb  a  few  steps  to  the  level  of 
the  garden,  a  resort  very  popular  with  the  people  of  the  neigh- 
bourhood (83). 

The  Bailiff's  house  (65),  the  court-house  in  which  he  presided 
(64),  the  Hotel  de  Rostaing  (67),  and  the  quarters  of  the  petty 
officials  connected  with  the  church  (68),  surrounded  the  Cour  du 
Baillage,  which  was  approached  by  a  covered  passage  (66). 

A  carriage-entrance  (69)  led  into  the  Court  of  the  Chapter- 
house (70),  round  which  were  grouped  the  Hotel  de  Vernicourt 
(78),  and  the  buildings  belonging  to  the  Chapter  (71),  whose 

26 


THE  TEMPLE 

backs  were  towards  the  little  Tower,  which  contained,  on  its 
ground  floor,,  a  chapel  (74)  and  a  room  (75).  Between  the  Court 
of  the  Chapter-house  and  the  great  Tower  (76)  was  the  Court  of 
the  Dungeon  (73),  which  was  approached  by  a  covered  passage 
(72).  The  great  Tower  communicated  directly  with  the  palace 
by  means  of  a  narrow  covered  passage  (77)  with  an  elbow  in  it 
at  the  spot  where  it  passed  above  the  public  entrance  to  the 
garden  (63). 

In  1787  an  enormous  structure  called  the  Temple  Rotunda  had 
been  built  to  serve  as  a  market  place,  and  this  had  somewhat 
altered  the  appearance  of  the  Precincts.  Near  this  rotunda,  in 
an  angle  formed  by  the  garden-walls  of  the  Hotel  Vernicourt 
(79)  a  public  fountain  had  been  raised  (80);  and  in  1789,  the 
means  of  access  to  the  new  market-place  had  been  simplified  by 
the  cutting  of  a  door  (81)  in  the  walls  of  the  Precincts  ;  and  this 
also  enabled  the  inhabitants  of  the  district  to  enter  the  garden 
by  a  second  gate  (82). 

The  plans  of  the  Manor  of  the  Temple  as  it  was  in  1789,  and 
various  topographical  drawings  preserved  in  the  National 
Archives,  furnished  us  with  the  details  of  the  above  survey, 
details  that  may  to  some  seem  too  minute,  but  that  will  by  no 
means  be  without  interest  to  those  who  wish  to  follow  the  various 
accounts  of  the  events  that  took  place  in  the  Temple  between 
the  13th  August,  1792,  and  the  9th  June,  1795. 

When  Louis  XVI. 's  family  were  first  immured  there  the  sur- 
roundings of  the  Temple  were  as  we  have  just  described  them 
(plan  A).  The  carriage  in  which  the  prisoners  were  conveyed 
from  the  Riding  School  of  the  Tuileries  to  the  Temple  passed 
through  the  gateway  (2),  and  drew  up  in  the  middle  of  the 
palace  court  (3),  which  was  ablaze  with  lights.  As  the  rooms  in 
the  Tower  were  not  yet  prepared  for  the  reception  of  guests,  the 
royal  family  remained  for  a  few  hours  in  the  palace,  where  the 
Commune  entertained  them  at  a  grand  dinner  arranged  in  the 
large  salon  (22).  As  the  Dauphin  was  so  sleepy  that  he  could 
hardly  stand,  a  member  of  the  Commune  took  him  in  his  arms 
and  carried  him  through  the  rooms  (23-24-25)  and  the  covered 
way  (77)  to  the  Tower ;  which  explains  why  it  was  that  Madame 
de  Tourzel,  who  no  doubt  was  in  the  Temple  for  the  first  time 
and  did  not  know  the  gallery  in  question,  spoke  afterwards  of 
tortuous  and  gloomy  subterranean  passages. 

The  Great  Tower  (76)  in  which  the  Commune  had  determined 

27 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

to  confine  the  prisoners  was  in  such  a  state  of  dilapidation  that 
Louis  XVI.  and  his  family  were  temporarily  lodged  in  the  little 
Tower  (74  and  75),  whose  rooms  were  hastily  made  ready  with 
furniture  from  the  Tuileries.  Louis  XVI.  was  not  transferred  to 
the  Great  Tower  till  the  30th  September ;  and  it  was  not  till  the 
26th  October  that  Marie  Antoinette,  with  her  children  and 
Madame  Elizabeth,  joined  him  there. 

Great  changes,  involving  much  labour,  took  place  in  the 
interval,  with  the  object,  not  only  of  making  the  interior  of  the 
Tower  more  suitable  for  its  purpose,  but  also  of  isolating  it  in 
such  a  way  that  it  might  be  easily  guarded.  Any  guard  would 
have  been  useless  had  the  prison  remained  enclosed  as  it  is 
depicted  in  plan  A,  in  a  mass  of  buildings  inhabited  by  private 
individuals.  In  order  that  all  attempts  at  escape  might  be 
nipped  in  the  bud  it  was  necessary  to  isolate  the  building 
absolutely,  and  the  work  of  doing  this  was  begun  on  the  15th 
August,  1792.  Patriot  Palloy  was  entrusted  with  the  undertak- 
ing,1 and  lost  no  time  in  starting  operations.  The  buildings 
numbered  64,  65,  66,  67,  68,  71,  72,  78,  in  plan  A,  were  taken 
down  in  a  few  days, — (there  is  a  plan  of  the  demolished  houses 
in  the  National  Archives) — and  their  place  filled  by  a  sort  of 
square,  surrounded  by  a  high  wall,  which  was  supported  by 
numerous  buttresses  on  the  inner  side.  (See  plan  B.)  Outside 
this  new  enclosure  the  public  passage  leading  to  the  garden  was 
left  as  it  was  (plan  B,  63) ;  and  near  this  passage  a  guard-house 
was  placed,  in  the  old  buildings  of  the  Baillage.  (See  the 
drawing  facing  p.  94.)  Palloy's  wall  had  only  one  door,  open- 
ing into  the  Temple  Garden  and  facing  the  south  front  of  the 
Great  Tower  ;  and  at  this  door  a  guard-house  was  placed  without 
delay.  But  soon,  with  a  view  to  communicating  more  easily 
with  the  outside  world,  another  door  was  made  in  the  wall  on  the 
western  side  of  the  square,  facing  the  palace  steps  ;  and  here  a 
second  guard-house  was  established,  and  a  man  named  Mancel, 
formerly  a  servant  of  the  Comte  D'Artois,  placed  in  it  in  the 
capacity  of  turnkey. 

It  was  while  these  alterations  were  being  carried  out  that  one 
of  the  National  Guards  on  duty  at  the  Temple  took  the  interest- 
ing sketch  facing  page  124.  This  National  Guard  was  called 
Le  Queux,  and  was  by  profession  an  architect.  In  the  fore- 
ground of  his  picture  he  placed  the  whole  family  of  Louis  XVI. 

1  Minutes  of  the  Commune  of  Paris;  sittings  of  the  llth  and  13th 
August,  1792. 

28 


Rtffc 


PLAN  A. 

THE  SURROUNDINGS   OF   THE  TEMPLE  TOWER   IN  AUGUST,  1792,  ACCORDING  TO  UNPUBLISHED 

DOCUMENTS. 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

taking  their  daily  walk,  and  took  the  trouble  to  add  the  note 
that  may  still  be  read  at  the  foot  of  the  drawing,  on  the  left :  / 
saw  them  there. 

As  for  the  curious  sketch  reproduced  between  pp.  122  and  123 
it  was  drawn  from  nature  with  the  most  careful  accuracy  in  the 
autumn  of  1793.  We  see  the  Dauphin  walking  about  in  charge  of 
Simon,  who  is  wearing  the  bonnet  rouge.  This  drawing,  which  has 
never  been  published  before,  is  among  the  valuable  relics  of  the 
royal  family  collected  by  M.  Otto  Friedrichs.  We  here  express  our 
gratitude  to  him  for  his  kindness  in  authorising  us  to  publish  it. 

In  addition  to  the  sentinels  posted  on  the  ground  floor  of  the 
two  towers,  there  was  the  main  guard  in  the  Temple  Palace. 
This  consisted  of  an  officer  in  command,  a  chef  de  legion,  a  sous- 
adjutant-major,  a  colour-bearer,  twenty  gunners — with  guns 
mounted  in  the  court  of  the  palace — and  between  two  hundred 
and  two  hundred  and  fifty  men. 

A  man  called  Gachet,  who  had  formerly  been  the  gate-keeper 
of  the  palace,  had  opened  a  canteen  for  the  National  Guards  in 
his  lodge.  (Plan  B,  5.) 

The  kitchen  (6),  formerly  devoted  to  the  use  of  the  palace, 
still  supplied  the  tables  of  all  who  were  employed  on  the 
premises,  all  the  municipal  officers  and  guards,  as  well  as  the 
family  of  Louis  XVI.  Gagnie  was  the  head  of  this  department, 
and  had  under  his  orders  Meunier — who  kept  a  cook-shop — 
Marchand,  Turgy,  Chretien,  and  others.  We  shall  find  all  these 
names  in  the  narratives  we  are  about  to  read. 

These  domestics  lived  in  the  outbuildings  of  the  palace  (30 
and  31).  One  can  easily  understand  that  so  large  a  population 
entailed  constant  communication  between  the  Temple  and  the 
town.  It  is  true  that  the  Tower,  isolated  behind  Palloy's  wall, 
was  cut  off  entirely  from  the  outer  world  ;  but  it  was  otherwise 
with  the  palace,  teeming  as  it  was  with  a  multitude  of  servants 
and  officials,  and  soldiers  who  were  also  citizens,  all  of  whom  had 
interests  and  business  beyond  the  Precincts. 

It  therefore  became  the  custom  to  leave  the  palace,  not  by  the 
main  entrance  (2)  where  it  was  necessary  to  show  a  ticket,  but 
by  a  circuitous  way.  On  the  30th  Prairial,  year  II.,  various 
people  were  formally  accused  before  the  Council  of  leaving  the 
Temple  by  the  door  near  the  stables ;  and  it  was  stated  that  tf  to 
enter  by  this  door  it  was  only  necessary  to  knock  with  a  piece  of 
sandstone  kept  for  the  purpose  on  one  of  the  projecting  hinges 
of  the  door,  on  the  left,  at  the  sound  of  which  Citizen  Piquet,  the 

30 


PLAN  B. 

THE  SURROUNDINGS  OF  THE  TEMPLE  TOWER  IN  JANUARY,  1793,  ACCORDING  TO  UNPUBLISHED 

DOCUMENTS. 

31 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

porter,  came  at  once  to  answer  the  summons.  And  the  Members 
of  the  Council  observed  it  to  be  perfectly  true  that  there  was  a 
door  on  the  left  opening  into  the  Temple  Precincts,  through 
which  the  mother  or  mother-in-law  of  Citizen  Gagnie,  as  well  as 
Simon's  wife 1  and  other  persons  residing  in  the  same  vicinity 
were  allowed  to  pass."  (See  Plan  B,  7.) 

A  mere  glance  at  Plan  B  will  suffice  to  show  that  it  was  easy 
to  drive  into  the  court  of  the  palace  (3),  but  impossible  to  go  any 
further  except  on  foot.  It  follows  that  all  the  modern  stories 
that  represent  Louis  XVI.  as  driving  from  the  foot  of  the  Tower 
either  to  the  Convention  or  to  the  scaffold,  are  incorrect  in  this 
particular.  The  mistake  would  not  have  been  made  if  the  authors 
of  the  stories  in  question  had  read  the  contemporary  narratives 
with  the  help  of  an  accurate  plan. 

Every  one  who  left  the  Tower  was  obliged  to  walk  across  the 
square  enclosed  by  Palloy's  wall,  and  through  the  Temple  Garden 
and  the  rooms  of  the  palace,  and  could  only  get  into  a  carriage 
at  the  steps  (10).  Moelle,  an  eye-witness,  relates  that  on  the 
26th  December,  1792,  Louis  XVI.,  on  his  return  from  the  Con- 
vention, left  the  carriage  at  the  door  of  the  principal  Pavilion 
(the  palace)  and  walked,  with  the  Mayor  on  his  right  hand,  from 
the  Pavilion  to  the  Tower. 

A  few  days  later  Goret,  who  escorted  Malesherbes  when  he 
came  to  tell  Louis  XVI.  the  news  of  his  condemnation,  says : 
"  We  crossed  the  great  Court  to  the  gate  of  the  Temple,  where 
his  carriage  was  waiting  for  him." 

Thus  it  was  on  the  21st  January.  The  prisoner  left  Palloy's 
enclosure  by  the  first  guard-house — (we  believe,  though  we 
cannot  positively  assert,  that  the  second  guard-house  had  not 
yet  been  built  at  this  time) — turned  to  the  right,  crossed  the 
greater  part  of  the  Temple  Garden — (we  know  that  he  twice 
turned  to  look  at  the  Tower,  which  he  could  not  have  done 
if  he  had  driven  away  from  the  very  door  of  the  prison) — 
ascended  the  steps  (28),  and  by  way  of  the  rooms  (22,  21,  12) 
occupied  by  the  guard,  reached  the  great  court  of  the  palace, 
where  the  Mayor's  carriage  awaited  him. 

It  is  unnecessary  to  go  into  further  details.  This  example 
will  serve  to  show  that  the  accompanying  plans  may  assist  very 
effectually  in  the  study  of  the  various  authentic  accounts  of  the 
imprisonment  of  Louis  XVI. 's  family. 

1  Simon's  wife  can  only  have  come  here  at  this  time  as  a  visitor.  She 
had  given  up  her  official  position  at  the  Temple  in  January,  1794. 

32, 


THE   NARRATIVE   OF   DAUJON 

COMMISSIONER  OF  THE  COMMUNE 

(AUGUST,  1792— OCTOBER,  1793) 

THE  following  valuable  document,  now  for  the  first  time 
published  in  its  entirety,  is  preserved  in  M.  Victorien  Sardou's 
collection  of  autographs. 

In  the  library  of  Saint-Germain-en-Laye  there  is  a  collection 
of  unconnected  documents  bound  together  in  one  volume,  with 
the  title  :  Louis  XFI.'s  Defence  :  the  Queen  s  copy.  It  is  so  called, 
no  doubt,  because  the  first  of  these  documents  is  a  printed  copy 
of  de  Size's  defence  of  the  King  before  the  Convention,  and 
bears  the  words  Opportet  unum  mori  pro  populo,  in  Marie 
Antoinette's  handwriting.  This  pamphlet  was  given  to  her  in 
the  Temple. 

This  volume  also  contains  a  written  copy,  obviously  modern, 
of  an  Account  of  all  that  took  place  in  the  Temple  during  the  2nd 
and  3rd  September,  1792,  by  a  municipal  officer  of  the  Commune. 
According  to  M.  Georges  Bertin  this  copy  was  written  by 
M.  A.  T.  Barbier,  once  the  Secretary  of  the  Imperial  Libraries, 
who  died  in  Paris  on  the  7th  November,  1859.  It  was  he  who 
presented  this  book  to  the  library  of  Saint-Germain. 

Now,  who  was  the  municipal  officer  who  wrote  this  narrative  ? 
Danjou  they  say.  This,  at  least,  is  the  opinion  of  Beauchesne, 
who  quotes  a  portion  of  it ;  of  the  editors  of  the  Revue  Retrospec- 
tive, who  published  extracts  from  it ;  and  of  M.  Georges  Bertin 
himself,  who  went  fully  into  it  afresh  in  his  book  on  Madame  de 
Lamballe. 

There  was,  it  is  true,  on  the  General  Council  of  the  Commune, 
a  certain  Jean  Pierre  Andre  Danjou,  a  schoolmaster  and  un- 
frocked priest,  living  in  the  Rue  de  Coq-Saint-Jean  (see  the 
National  Almanach  for  the  year  1793).  He  sat  among  the  most 

33  I) 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

fanatical  members  of  the  municipal  body,  and  we  shall  presently 
see  the  terms  in  which  his  colleague  Goret  spoke  of  him. 

Well,  although  the  manuscript  is  unsigned,  it  is  proved  by 
the  internal  evidence  of  the  narrative  itself  that  its  author  was 
not  Danjou,  but  the  municipal  officer,  Daujoii.  The  confusion 
arose,  no  doubt,  from  the  similarity  of  the  names,  but  the 
mistake  would  never  have  been  made  if  Beauchesne,  who  was 
the  first  to  publish  a  few  pages  of  the  story,  had  studied 
the  manuscript  in  its  entirety  and  had  closely  examined  its 
contents.  It  is  Danjou,  then,  who  is  praised  by  every  historian 
for  the  courage  with  which  the  perpetrators  of  the  Septem- 
ber Massacres,  on  arriving  at  the  Temple  with  the  remains  of 
Madame  de  Lamballe,  were  repulsed  by  the  municipal  officers 
on  duty.  But  the  man  who,  for  more  than  an  hour,  restrained 
this  horde  of  maniacs,  was  none  other  than  Daujon ;  and  the 
following  note  by  Goret,  the  municipal  officer,  leaves  no  possible 
doubt  on  the  subject. 

"The  news  came  that  the  Princesse  de  Lamballe  had  just 
fallen  a  victim,  and  that  some  madmen  were  on  their  way  to  the 
Temple  carrying  the  Princess's  head  at  the  end  of  a  pike.  The 
Council  shuddered,  but  were  silent.  One  of  their  members,  an 
artist  called  Daujon,  was  at  the  Temple,  and  saw  this  frantic  mob 
approaching.  He  went  to  meet  them,  but  could  not  prevent 
them  from  approaching  the  building  beside  the  Tower,  where 
the  King  and  his  family  were  confined.  The  windows  of  this 
building  were  not  barred,  and  were  only  fifteen  or  sixteen  feet 
above  the  ground.  The  crowd  were  shouting  at  the  top  of  their 

voices Daujon,  wearing  his  scarf,  quickly  jumped  upon  a 

heap  of  stones  that  happened  to  be  below  the  window,  and 
began  to  harangue  the  crowd  in  such  a  way  that  he  managed  to 

restrain  them Daujon  followed  them  to  the  door  leading 

out  of  the  Temple,  and — having  hastily  procured  a  tricoloured 
ribbon — he  hung  it,  as  soon  as  they  had  passed  through,  before 
the  door  of  the  Temple,  which  he  left  open.  "  Cross  that  barrier 
if  you  dare  ! "  he  said  to  the  retreating  mob. 

"  When  Daujon  next  went  on  duty  as  the  King's  warder, 
the  latter  said  to  him :  '  You  saved  our  lives,  and  we  thank 
you.  You  said  nothing  more  than  was  necessary  in  such 
circumstances.' 

" ....  I  heard  this  story  from  Daujon  himself.  I  believe 
C16ry  speaks  of  Daujon.  in  his  History  of  the  Temple,  but  in  such 

34 


THE  NARRATIVE  OF  DAUJON 

terms  that  he  appears  not  to  be  a  partisan  of  the  King,  or  at 
least  not  to  care  for  him " 

If  any  further  proof  were  required  to  establish  the  true 
authorship  of  the  Account  of'  the  2nd  and  3rd  September,  wrongly 
attributed  to  Danjou,  we  might  find  it  in  this  passage  from  the 
MS.  itself: 

"I  heard  this  son  accuse  his  mother  and  his  aunt  ....  I 
heard  it,  /  wrote  it 

This  refers  to  the  Dauphin  and  the  horrible  deposition  wrung 
from  the  child  by  Hebert.  Now  on  that  occasion  the  registrar's 
pen  was  in  the  hand  of  Daujon  ;  it  was  he  who  recorded  the 
answers  of  Marie  Antoinette's  son ;  it  was  he  who  signed  the 
report  of  that  hateful  inquiry.  Goret  indeed  is  very  explicit  on 
this  point.  He  adds  : 

"  It  was  this  same  Daujon  who  was  acting  as  secretary  when 
the  young  prince  was  subjected,  in  the  Temple,  to  an  examina- 
tion on  the  subject  of  the  slanderous  and  infamous  statements  that 
had  been  circulated  with  regard  to  the  Queen.  Here,  word  for 
word,  is  what  Daujon  told  me  on  the  subject  of  that  examination, 
and  I  may  say  that  I  considered  him  a  man  worthy  of  belief. 

"  The  young  prince,"  he  told  me,  "  was  seated  in  an  armchair, 
swinging  his  little  legs  ;  for  his  feet  did  not  reach  the  ground. 
He  was  examined  as  to  the  statements  in  question,  and  was 
asked  if  they  were  true :  he  answered  in  the  affirmative. 
Instantly  Madame  Elizabeth,  who  was  present,  cried  out,  fOh, 
the  monster  ! ' — '  As  for  me,'  added  Daujon,  '  I  could  not  regard 
this  answer  as  coming  from  the  child  himself,  for  his  air  of 
uneasiness  and  his  general  bearing  inclined  me  to  believe  that 
it  was  a  suggestion  emanating  from  some  one  else, — the  effect 
of  his  fear  of  punishment  or  ill  treatment,  with  which  he  may 
have  been  threatened  if  he  failed  to  comply.  I  fancy  that 
Madame  Elizabeth  cannot  really  have  been  deceived  either,  but 
that  her  surprise  at  the  child's  answer  wrung  that  exclamation 
from  her.'  " 

And  what  sort  of  man  was  this  Daujon  who  lent  himself  to 
such  repulsive  tasks  ?  In  the  General  List  of  Commissioners  from 
the  Forty-eight  Sections  who  composed  the  General  Council  of  the 
Commune  of  the  10th  August  he  is  mentioned,  without  any 
reference  to  his  profession,  as  living  at  No.  40  in  the  Faubourg 
Saint  Martin.  Goret,  who  seems  to  have  known  him  fairly 
intimately,  describes  him  as  a  painter;  though  further  on,  it 

35  i>  2 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

is  true,  he  speaks  of  his  talent  as  a  sculptor.  It  is  thus,  too, 
that  the  General  Dictionary  of  French  Artists  describes  him  ;  and 
as  a  matter  of  fact  Daujon's  work  was  not  without  merit. 
There  is  a  Head  of  Medusa  by  him  in  the  Louvre,  a  bas-relief 
in  bronze. 

"Daujon" — to  accept  Goret's  evidence  once  more — "was 
a  man  of  extraordinary  energy ;  but  I  never  saw  him,"  he  adds, 
"show  any  inclination  for  the  iniquitous  deeds  that  were  so 
common  during  the  stormy  times  of  the  Revolution ;  on  the 
contrary,  he  was  merely  what  was  then  called  an  ardent  patriot, 
without  any  feelings  of  hatred  or  revenge ;  and  I  knew  him  well 
enough  to  have  perfect  confidence  in  the  statements  he  made  to 
me  with  regard  to  certain  events  that  I  did  not  see  myself.  .  .  . 

"Daujon  died  several  years  ago,1  after  having  for  some  time 
filled  the  office — under  Bonaparte,  whom  he  did  not  like, — of 
national  commissioner  in  the  municipality  of  Paris.  He  told 
me  that,  being  a  sculptor,  he  had  some  knowledge  of  physiog- 
nomy, and  that  he  observed  in  Bonaparte's  features  the 
characteristics  of  a  despotic  tyrant.  Daujon,  who  was  no 
longer  a  member  of  the  General  Council,  escaped  on  the  9th 
Thermidor.  At  that  time  he  was  in  prison  as  a  '  suspect/ 
having  been  sent  thither  by  Robespierre ;  which  is  not  sur- 
prising, for  that  monster  feared  every  man  who  showed  any 
energy  and  did  not  bend  beneath  his  yoke." 

Energetic,  a  revolutionary  by  conviction,  hating  tyranny 
deeply,  but  neither  wicked  nor  cruel :  such  is  the  man  whom 
we  shall  see  depicted  in  the  following  pages.  We  have  copied 
them  word  for  word  from  Daujon's  original  MS.,  which  M. 
Victorien  Sardou  was  kind  enough  to  place  at  our  disposal. 
We  beg  him  to  accept  our  respectful  gratitude. 

THE  NARRATIVE  OF  DAUJON 

If  there  be  one  thing  more  than  another  calculated  to 
increase  our  scepticism  with  regard  to  any  story  tinged  with 
the  marvellous,  it  is  the  obvious  discrepancy  that  exists 
between  different  contemporary  accounts  of  events  actually 
witnessed  by  the  narrators;  events  in  which  we  ourselves 
were  actors,  and  yet  should  not  recognise  if  the  scene  were 
placed  elsewhere  and  the  names  of  the  persons  concerned 
were  changed.  We  are  all  secretly  inclined  to  emphasise 
1  Goret  wrote  these  words  in  1814. 

36 


THE   NARRATIVE   OF   DAUJON 

the  dark  side  of  a  story  or  to  show  the  bright  side  in  the 
best  light,  according  to  the  special  bearing  of  the  events 
upon  our  own  life  and  standpoint,  and  according  to  the 
sentiments  that  affect  us  individually,  and  that  we  therefore 
desire  to  affect  others.  Every  story-teller  believes  himself  to 
be  one  of  the  heroes  of  the  events  he  records,  and  is  there- 
fore interested  in  making  the  most  of  it :  he  invests  the 
subject  with  the  charm  of  his  particular  genius,  and 
according  to  the  nature  of  his  own  inspiration  creates  a 
monster — or  an  angel. 

Creations  such  as  these,  the  chimerical  offspring  of  vanity 
or  self-interest,  are  often  laid  before  the  student  as  true 
pictures  of  human  action.  They  are  seized  by  ready 
credulity,  propagated  by  greed,  and  accepted  forthwith  by 
history. 

The  place  called  the  Temple,  to  which  Capet  and  his 
family  were  taken  as  prisoners  on  the  16th  August,  1792, 
is  an  unprepossessing  building  in  Paris,  situated  in  the  Rue 
du  Temple  and  near  the  boulevard  of  the  same  name.  In 
the  middle  of  the  garden  there  is  a  very  high  tower,  very 
solid,  and  flanked  by  four  turrets,  in  one  of  which  is  a  little 
spiral  staircase  that  leads  to  the  upper  part  of  the  tower. 
The  walls  of  the  Great  Tower  are  about  seven  feet  thick, 
which  gives  the  embrasures  of  the  windows  the  appearance 
of  little  rooms.  These  windows  were  afterwards  darkened  by 
screens  on  the  outside,  so  that  no  light  entered  except  from 
the  top,  and  it  was  impossible  to  see  anything  but  the  sky. 

At  the  time  of  which  I  am  about  to  speak  certain  external 
alterations  were  being  made  for  the  sake  of  greater  security ; 
such  as  the  demolition  of  some  houses  near  the  Tower ;  the 
digging  of  a  fosse  to  isolate  it — but  this  scheme  was  never 
carried  out ;  the  placing  of  several  doors  upon  the  staircase  ; 
and  various  changes  in  the  interior  arrangements  for  the 
prisoners'  accommodation :  and  this  increased  the  vigilance 
of  the  Council  of  the  Temple,  which  must  not  be  confused 
with  the  General  Council  of  the  Commune.  The  latter, 
which  was  especially  charged  with  the  custody  of  the 
prisoners,  delegated  the  actual  guardianship  of  the  latter 
to  eight  members  chosen  from  among  themselves,  who 

37 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

were   renewed,  four  at  a  time,  according  to  the  following 
system. 

Every  evening  the  General  Council  chose1  four  commis- 
sioners to  relieve  the  four  who  had  been  longest  on  duty.2 
Each  man  was  on  duty  for  forty-eight  consecutive  hours. 
During  the  day  there  were  always  two  with  the  prisoners ; 
the  six  others,  who  remained  on  the  ground  floor  and  were 
responsible  for  the  efficiency  of  the  whole  guard,  composed 
the  Council  of  the  Temple.  They  gave  orders  to  the  soldiers 
on  the  premises,  decided  on  any  step  that  seemed  good  to 
them,  and  informed  the  General  Council  of  their  intentions 
whenever  they  thought  the  matter  so  important  that  they 
ought  to  secure  the  Council's  approval  before  taking  action. 

During  the  night  the  work  was  divided  as  follows. 

The  four  fresh  commissioners  drew  lots  among  themselves 
as  to  which  should  be  the  two  to  spend  the  night  with  the 
prisoners,  together  with  two  of  the  four  men  already  on  duty, 
chosen  by  lot  the  evening  before.  And  as  the  prisoners  were 
separated  during  the  night  these  four  again  drew  lots  among 
themselves  to  decide  who  was  to  be  with  Capet  and  who  with 
the  women  and  children.  Those  who  were  to  be  with  him 
remained  in  his  room,  for  it  was  there  that  they  all  sat 
together  during  the  day.  The  others  took  the  women  and 
children  to  their  rooms  and  stayed  with  them.  The  relieved 
commissioners,  after  handing  over  the  orders  to  the  others, 
locked  not  only  all  the  doors  of  the  rooms,  but  also  the  seven 
doors  on  the  staircase  of  the  tower.  The  keys  of  all  these, 
as  well  as  those  of  the  great  outer  door,  were  deposited  in 

1  Afterwards  they  were  chosen  by  drawing  lots.     (Note  by  Daujon.) 

2  It  was  so  unpleasant  being  on  duty  in  the  Temple,  and  the  responsi- 
bility was  so  great  that  members  fled  from  the  Council  Room  when  they 
saw  the  urn  being  brought  in  which  led  to  the  issue  of  an  order  enjoining 
upon  the  commandant  of  the  guard  of  the  Commune  to  bring  to  the  Temple 
by  force  any  of  the  members  chosen  by  lot  who  had  not  arrived  there  by 
nine  in  the  evening  at  latest.     Several  of  them  were  taken  to  the  Temple 
in  this  way.     This  order  is  a  sufficient  answer  to  the  calumnies  directed 
against  the  Council  to  the  effect  that   the  members  wrangled  in  their 
eagerness  to  go  to  the  Temple,  on  account  of  the  good  cheer.     At  first  the 
food  was  so  unwholesome  that  one  always  suffered  from  colic  after  it ;  it 
was  not  till  several  months  later  that  it  was  the  same  as  the  prisoners' 
food  ;  and  moreover,  it  was  at  this  time  that  the  order  was  issued.     (Note 
by  Daujon. ) 

38 


THE   NARRATIVE   OF   DAUJON 

the  Council  Room  in  a  cupboard  cut  in  the  masonry  of  the 
wall.  The  oldest  of  the  commissioners  kept  the  key. 

The  commissioners  slept  on  folding  beds  set  up  in  the 
Council  Room  and  in  the  prisoners'*  ante-room.  This  arrange- 
ment lasted  till  about  the  time  of  Capet's  death,  and  as  long 
as  the  prisoners  had  valets  to  wait  on  them.  Afterwards 
they  slept  alone ;  that  is  to  say  they  were  no  longer  watched 
at  night.  In  their  rooms  there  were  bells  that  rang  in  the 
Council  Room,  and  the  commissioners  never  failed,  night  or 
day,  to  attend  the  summons  if  the  bells  were  rung. 

No  one  was  allowed  to  visit  the  prisoners  without  producing 
a  decree  issued  by  the  Assembly  or  the  National  Convention  ; 
or  an  order  from  the  Committee  of  Surveillance,  the  Com- 
mittee of  Public  Safety,  the  Committee  of  General  Security, 
or  the  General  Council  of  the  Commune.  This  rule  was 
very  rarely  broken — only  now  and  then  in  the  case  of  the 
chief  magistrates  of  the  Commune,  and  then  only  in  the 
presence  of  the  commissioners  on  duty,  who  were  personally 
responsible. 

The  National  Guard  was  alone  allowed  to  serve  in  the 
Temple.  There  were  only  a  few  mounted  orderlies  on  duty 
outside. 

When  the  prisoners  went  to  their  meals  one  of  their  valets 
de  chambre  unfolded  the  napkins,  broke  open  the  rolls,  and 
tasted  every  dish  before  they  ate  any  of  it  themselves.  This 
was  done  in  the  presence  of  the  commissioners,  with  the 
object  of  preventing  any  correspondence  on  the  one  side 
or  any  foul  play  on  the  other.  Later  on  the  dishes  were 
tasted  in  the  kitchen  by  the  cook,  always  in  the  presence  of 
the  commissioners,  and  accompanied  by  the  latter  to  the 
prisoners1  table.  The  same  routine  was  followed  in  the  case 
of  medicines,  which,  after  being  tasted  by  the  apothecary, 
were  sealed  by  him  with  his  own  seal  and  delivered  thus  to 
the  prisoners. 

Every  kind  of  article  that  came  in  or  went  out,  whatever 
its  nature, — book,  linen,  or  other  garment, — was  examined 
very  carefully.  The  prisoners  were  not  allowed  the  indul- 
gence of  paper,  ink,  or  pencils. 

On  the  2nd  September,  1792,  I  was  with  Capet  at  one  of 

39 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

the  windows  of  his  room,1  watching  the  demolition  of  a 
house  not  far  from  the  Tower.  He  called  my  attention  to 
the  pieces  of  stone  and  wood  that  were  on  the  point  of 
falling ;  and  as  each  piece  fell  he  broke  out  into  a  roar 
of  the  hearty  laughter  that  indicates  simple,  good-humoured 
enjoyment.  His  pleasure  was  brief.  The  loud  report  of 
a  gun  checked  it;  a  second  report  quenched  it;  a  third 
replaced  it  with  terror.  It  was  the  alarm- gun. 

Their  ignorance  of  the  events  that  led  to  the  adoption  of 
this  unusual  measure,  the  sound  of  the  tocsin  and  drums,  the 
clamour  and  songs  of  the  labourers  leaving  their  work  to  take 
their  share  in  the  common  danger,  and  no  doubt  too,  the  voice 
of  a  guilty  conscience,  all  combined  to  give  apparent  justifi- 
cation to  the  alarm  of  the  prisoners.  Capet  asked  us  if  he 
were  in  any  danger.  We  did  not  know  ;  but  we  told  him  that 
if  any  danger  were  to  arise  it  was  our  duty  to  see  that  it  was 
removed,  and  that  therefore  we  should  not  calmly  submit  to 
it  whatever  happened.  Our  confidence  seemed  to  reassure 
him. 

A  moment  later  Manuel,  the  procureur  of  the  Commune, 
came  to  ask  for  news  of  the  prisoners.  I  brought  him  into 
the  room,  and  Capet  asked  him  what  had  occurred.  "  Verdun 
is  taken  and  Longwy  is  blockaded."  "And  what  is  the 
National  Assembly  doing?1'  "  They  have  just  decided  that 
Verdun  is  to  be  razed  to  the  ground.""  Louis,  with  a  gesture 
of  surprise,  said  smilingly :  "  That  is  a  great  stroke  of  poli- 
tics, and  rather  a  bold  one,  but  the  example  may  restrain 
other  towns."  Manuel  added  that  the  General  Council  of 
the  Commune  had  just  decreed  that  the  tocsin  should  be 
instantly  rung,  the  alarm-gun  fired,  and  the  call  to  arms 
beaten,  as  a  means  of  summoning  every  citizen  to  fly  to  the 
defence  of  the  frontiers  and  prevent  the  enemy  from  reaching 
Paris.  Capet  smiled  and  answered  that  there  was  no  danger  ; 
for  the  enemy  had  established  no  means  of  obtaining  supplies 

1  I  said  above  that  the  windows  were  darkened  by  screens.  To 
explain  this  apparent  contradiction  I  must  mention  that  at  the  time  of 
which  I  speak  the  rooms  to  which  they  were  removed,  the  rooms  with  the 
screens,  were  being  repaired.  At  this  time  the  prisoners  were  on  the  first 
floor  of  a  kind  of  building  that  adjoined  the  Tower,  but  was  not  really  an 
essential  part  of  it,  so  to  speak.  (Note  by  Daujon. ) 

40 


THE  NARRATIVE   OF   DAUJON 

suitable  for  such  a  purpose,  and  would  find  the  retreat  a  much 
harder  matter  than  the  invasion,  etc.,  etc.  It  was  about  two 
o'clock  ;  the  new  guard  came  in ;  Manuel  left  us,  and  we  went 
down  to  the  Council  Room. 

Between  four  and  five  o'clock  two  commissioners  presented 
themselves  before  the  Council,  bearing  an  Order  conceived  in 
these  terms  : 

"  It  is  decreed  by  the  General  Council  that  the  man  Hue, 
Capet's  valet  de  chambre^  shall  be  forthwith  arrested  and 
removed  to  the  Conciergerie :  the  commissioners  M.1  and  — 
are  charged  with  the  execution  of  this  decree.'" 

Hue  was  in  the  Tower.  Capet  and  his  family  were  walking 
in  the  garden,  accompanied  by  two  commissioners  and  the 
chiefs  of  the  Staff  of  the  National  Guard  on  duty.  Every  day 
after  dinner  the  Council  permitted  them  to  do  this,  unless 
there  appeared  to  be  some  reason  against  it,  which  rarely 
happened. 

As  it  devolved  upon  me  to  inform  the  prisoners  of  the  com- 
missioners' purpose,  I  summoned  them  upstairs.  When  they 
were  in  their  own  room  the  decree  of  the  General  Council  was 
read  aloud  to  them.  Capet  complained  bitterly  of  this  severe 
measure,  saying  that  the  legislative  body  would  be  far  from 
approving  of  it  if  they  knew  of  it.  The  women  far  surpassed 
him  in  acrimony ;  especially  Elizabeth,  who  strode  up  and 
down  the  room,  giving  vent  to  her  anger  in  a  loud  voice,  and 
darting  menacing  glances  at  us  all.2  Marie  Antoinette 
seemed  deeply  affected  by  this  separation.  "  It  was  plain," 
she  said,  "that  the  object  was  to  part  them  from  all  the 
people  who  were  most  attached  to  them,  and  in  whom  they 
had  placed  their  confidence,"  etc.3 

1  Mathieu,  ex-capuchin.     (See  the  Journal  de  CUry. ) 

3  1  always  observed  in  her  a  great  deal  of  a  very  deliberate  and 
consistent  kind  of  pride  that  seemed  to  have  neither  end  nor  object, 
that  was  roused  without  cause  and  that  nothing  could  conciliate.  A 
good  many  people,  and  perhaps  she  herself,  took  it  for  dignity.  (Note 
by  Daujon. ) 

3  I  do  not  know  to  what  degree  the  prisoners  confided  in  this  valet 
de  chambre,  but  I  was  extremely  surprised  at  the  civility  and  kindness 
— at  the  little  attentions  even — shown  him  by  Mary  Antoinette.  They 
never  had  anything  especially  nice  to  eat  without  sharing  it  with  M.  Hue. 
"You  like  this:  I  have  kept  some  for  you,"  they  would  say.  Absent 
or  present,  he  was  in  their  thoughts.  ' '  He  takes  so  much  trouble.  He 

41 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

In  the  meantime  one  of  the  commissioners  charged  with 
executing  the  decree  of  the  General  Council  seemed  to  be 
listening  very  impatiently  to  the  complaints  of  the  prisoners. 
Addressing  himself  to  Capet,  he  said  in  a  very  loud  voice  :— 
"  The  alarm-gun  has  been  fired,  the  tocsin  is  ringing,  and  the 
call  to  arms  is  still  being  beaten  ;  the  enemy  is  at  our  doors  ; 
they  are  asking  for  blood  ;  they  are  demanding  heads.  Well, 
it  will  be  yours  that  they  take  first ! " 

At  these  words  a  cry  broke  from  them  all.  "  Save  my  hus- 
band !  Have  pity  on  my  brother  !  "  said  the  women,  running 
up  to  us.  The  girl,  as  was  natural  at  her  age,  appeared 
sensitive  and  timid  ;  the  son  alone  showed  much  more  surprise 
than  emotion.1 

Capet's  physical  condition  really  inspired  the  pity  that  his 

sister  was  invoking  on  his  behalf ; — not  the  natural  emotion 

that  misfortune  excites  so  inevitably  and  wrings  from  one^s 

heart  whether  one  will  or  no,  but  the  kind  of  pity  that  one 

yields  to  the  distressed  for  the  sake  of  one's  own  self-respect. 

/rale  and  trembling,  with  his  eyes  swollen  with  tears,  he  seemed 

/      touched  by  nothing  but  concern  for  his  own  safety.    Far  from 

remembering  that  he  had  been  a  King,  he  forgot  that  he  was 

a  man  ;  he  had  all  the  cowardice  of  a  disarmed  tyrant,  and  all 

\      the  servility  of  a  convicted  criminal.     I  put  an  end  to  this 

exhibition  of  baseness  on  one  side  and  vanity  on  the  other  by 

begging  the  commissioner  to  confine  himself  to  the  object  of 

his  mission.     He  went  off  with  the  valet  de  chambre?  and  I 

is  so  obliging  ! "      I  think  the  Queen  would  have  waited  on  him  if  she 
had  dared.     (Note  by  Daujon.) 

1  Elsewhere  I  shall  have  some  remarks  to  make  on  the  subject  of  this 
child.     Here  I  will  merely  describe,  without  comment,  an  incident  that 
made  me  observe  him  a  little  more  closely  than  before. 

One  day  I  was  having  a  little  game  of  bowls  with  him :  (it  was 
after  his  father's  death,  and  he  was  separated  from  his  mother  and  aunt  by 
order  of  the  Committee  of  Public  Safety).  The  room  we  were  in  was  beneath 
one  of  those  occupied  by  his  family,  and  we  heard  sounds  as  though 
someone  were  jumping  and  dragging  chairs  about,  which  made  a  con- 
siderable amount  of  noise  over  our  heads.  The  child  said,  with  an 

impatient  gesture  :  "  Are  not  those  sacrees  p -s  guillotined  yet  ?  "     Not 

caring  to  hear  any  more,   I  left   off  playing  and;  went  away.     (Note  by 
Daujon. ) 

2  I  cannot  help  observing  that  it  was  probably  to  the   vanity  of    the 
commissioner  that  this  valet  de  chambre  owed  his  life.      The  order  was 
that  he  was  to  be  taken  to  the  Conciergerie.     His  office  was  enough  to 
doom  him  to  the  fate  of  the  rest.     But  the  man  entrusted  with  the  arrest 


THE   NARRATIVE   OF  DAUJON 

left  the  room  to  escape  the  gratitude l  that  I  saw  the  pri- 
soners were  preparing  to  express.  I  returned  to  the  Council 
Room  meditating  on  the  strange  fate  that  had  made  me  the 
mediator  between  a  powerful  monarch .  and  a  wretched 
capuchin. 

On  the  following  day,  the  3rd  September,  we  learnt  that 
there  had  been  a  riot  in  the  prisons.  Shortly  afterwards  we 
heard  that  some  people  connected  with  the  Court  had  been 
massacred. 

Finally,  at  about  one  o'clock  we  were  informed  of  the  death 
of  the  Princesse  de  Lamballe,  whose  head,  it  was  said,  was 
being  brought  to  the  Temple,  that  Marie  Antoinette  might 
be  made  to  kiss  it.  Afterwards  they  were  both  to  be  dragged 
through  the  streets  of  Paris. 

In  the  name  of  the  Council  of  the  Temple  I  wrote  both  to 
the  General  Council  of  the  Commune  and  to  the  president  of 
the  Legislative  Assembly,  to  inform  them  of  the  danger 
threatening  the  hostages  confided  to  our  care.  We  begged 
each  of  these  two  bodies  to  send  us  six  commissioners  chosen 
from  those  of  their  own  members  who  were  most  popular  with 

— he  was  an  ex-capuchin — took  him  to  the  General  Council  of  the  Commune, 
boasted  of  his  own  behaviour,  repeated  his  harangue,  and  produced  his 
prisoner.  The  Council,  having  questioned  the  latter,  appeared  satisfied 
with  his  answers  and  ordered  him  merely  to  be  confined  in  the  gaol, 
a  kind  of  lock-up  connected  with  the  Commune,  where  he  was  kept  only  a 
short  time.  This  saved  him. 

It  is  possible  that  both  the  Commissioners  and  the  Council  already  had 
misgivings  with  regard  to  the  prisons.  (Note  Inj  Daujon.) 

1  On  this  occasion  I  succeeded  in  escaping  the  prisoners'  expressions  of 
gratitude  ;  but  about  a  month  later,  on  my  return  from  the  country — 
whither  I  had  gone  on  a  mission  from  the  provincial  executive  power — I 
was  again  on  duty  in  the  Temple,  and  the  moment  the  prisoners  saw  me 
they  said  countless  kind  things  to  me.  "  In  whatever  circumstances  fate 
~  ipet,  ' '  I  shall  never  forget  how  you  risk* 
present  I  can  do  nothing,"  he  added  ;  "  bul 
fy  my  heartfelt  desire  to  assure  you 


may  place  me,"  said  Capet,  "  I  shall  never  forget  how  you  risked  your 
life  to  save  ours.  At  present  I  can  do  nothing,"  he  added  ;  "but  I  have 
been  longing  to  satisfy  my  heartfelt  desire  to  assure  you  of  our 


gratitude." 


I  answered  that  any  of  my  colleagues  would  have  done  as  much  as  I, 
with  no  object  but  to  do  their  duty.  "  You  have  been  deceived  as  to  the 
character  of  true  patriots  ;  it  is  thus  that  they  answer  their  detractors." 

These  last  words  seemed  to  impress  him  deeply.  He  slowly  turned  his 
head,  and  looked  at  his  wife  with  an  expression  of  some  feeling,  as  though 
consulting  her.  They  seemed  to  be  ashamed  of  being  beaten  in  generosity 
by  men  whom  they  generally  regarded  as  cannibals. 

I  turned  away,  so  as  not  to  add  to  the  painfulness  of  their  position. 
(Note  by  Daujon.) 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

the  mob,  assuring  them,  in  any  event,  of  our  entire  devotion 
to  our  duty. 

In  the  meantime  a  mounted  orderly,  despatched  to  recon- 
noitre, informed  us  that  an  immense  crowd  was  approaching 
the  Temple,  carrying  the  Lamballe's  head  and  dragging  her 
body  with  them ;  that  they  were  demanding  Marie  Antoinette, 
and  that  in  less  than  five  minutes  they  would  reach  the  Temple. 

Two  commissioners  were  instantly  despatched  to  meet  them, 
to  find  out  their  intentions,  and  to  fraternise  with  them 
ostensibly  if  circumstances  demanded  it.  Above  all  they 
were  to  secure  the  man  who  was  carrying  the  head,  for  it 
was  certain  that  he  would  lead  the  mob,  and  if  he  could  be 
guided  according  to  our  wishes  the  crowd  would  be  more 
easily  restrained. 

Two  other  commissioners  were  despatched  into  the  neigh- 
bouring districts,  to  impress  upon  those  who  seemed  most 
excited  that  if  they  were  to  commit  so  abominable  and  use- 
less a  crime,  Paris  could  never  be  cleansed  from  the  stain  of 
it.  These  commissioners  were  reinforced  by  several  good 
citizens,  who  promised  us  to  employ  every  effort  to  bring  the 
most  obstinate  to  reason. 

The  clamour  increased,  and  our  difficulties  with  it.  The 
officer  on  duty  asked  us  for  orders,  adding  that  he  had  four 
hundred  well-armed  men  for  whom  he  could  answer,  but  that 
he  would  take  no  responsibility.  We  told  him  that  our 
intention  was  to  employ  force  only  as  a  last  resource  for  the 
protection  of  life  ;  that  it  was  our  duty  first  to  make  use 
of  persuasion ;  and  that  his  business,  therefore,  was  to  see  to 
the  security  of  his  arms,  etc.  He  made  his  arrangements 
accordingly. 

In  the  street  the  throng  was  already  prodigious.  We  had 
both  sides  of  the  great  gate  opened,  in  order  that  those  out- 
side might  be  pacified  by  seeing  our  peaceable  intentions,  of 
which  further  evidence  was  supplied  by  a  portion  of  the 
National  Guard,  who  stood  unarmed  in  a  double  line  from 
the  outside  entrance  to  the  inner  door.  None  the  less,  all 
the  arms,  doors,  and  passages  were  well  guarded  in  case  of  a 
surprise. 

We  heard  prolonged  and  violent  shouting,  and  then  at  last 

44 


THE   PRINCESS   DE   LAMBALLE. 


THE  NARRATIVE   OF  DAUJON 

they  came  !  A  tricoloured  sash,  hastily  hung  in  front  of  the 
main  entrance,  was  the  only  rampart  that  the  magistrate  con- 
sented to  raise  in  opposition  to  the  torrent,  which  seemed 
really  uncontrollable.  A  chair  was  placed  behind  the  tri- 
colour ;  I  climbed  upon  it,  and  waited.  Soon  the  bloodthirsty 
horde  appeared. 

At  the  sight  of  the  honoured  symbol  the  murderous  frenzy 
in  the  heart  of  these  men,  drunk  with  blood  and  wine,  seemed 
to  yield  to  a  feeling  of  respect  for  the  national  badge. 
Everyone  tried  with  all  his  strength  to  prevent  the  violation 
of  the  sacred  barrier ;  to  touch  it  would  have  seemed  to 
them  a  crime.  They  were  anxious  to  appear  right-minded, 
and  actually  believed  themselves  to  be  so ;  for  public  opinion, 
which  constitutes  the  moral  law  of  the  people,  has  an 
unbounded  influence  over  such  men  as  these,  who  bow  down 
before  it  even  while  they  are  outraging  it. 

Two  men  were  dragging  along  a  naked,  headless  corpse  by 
the  legs.  The  back  was  on  the  ground  ;  in  front  the  body 
was  ripped  open  from  end  to  end.  They  came  to  a  standstill 
before  my  tottering  rostrum,  at  the  foot  of  which  they  laid 
out  this  corpse  in  state,  arranging  the  limbs  with  great  par- 
ticularity, and  with  a  degree  of  cold-blooded  callousness  that 
might  give  a  thoughtful  man  food  for  much  meditation. 

On  my  right,  at  the  end  of  a  pike,  was  a  head  that 
frequently  touched  my  face,  owing  to  the  gesticulations  of 
the  man  that  carried  it.  On  my  left  a  still  more  horrible 
wretch  was  with  one  hand  holding  the  entrails  of  the  victim 
against  my  breast,  while  he  grasped  a  great  knife  with  the 
other.  Behind  them  a  huge  coal-heaver  held  suspended  at 
the  end  of  a  pike,  just  above  my  forehead,  a  fragment  of 
linen  drenched  with  blood  and  mire. 

As  they  appeared  on  the  scene  I  extended  my  right  arm, 
and  there  I  stood,  absolutely  motionless,  waiting  for  silence. 
I  obtained  it. 

I  told  them  that  the  municipal  body  chosen  by  themselves 
had  been  entrusted  by  the  National  Assembly  with  a  charge 
for  which  they,  the  Commune,  were  responsible  not  only  to 
the  Assembly  but  also  to  the  whole  of  France,  having  sworn 
to  deliver  it  up  in  the  state  in  which  they  had  received  it. 

45 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

I  told  them  that  when  we  heard  the  people  had  designs  on 
the  life  of  the  prisoners  we  refused  to  oppose  them  by  force 
of  arms  ;  we  had  rejected  the  idea  with  horror,  being  per- 
suaded that  if  just  arguments  were  once  laid  before  a 
Frenchman  he  would  not  fail  to  listen  to  them.  I  made 
them  see  how  impolitic  it  would  be  to  deprive  ourselves  of 
such  valuable  hostages  at  the  very  moment  when  the  enemy 
was  in  possession  of  our  frontiers.  And  on  the  other  hand, 
would  it  not  be  a  proof  of  the  prisoners1  innocence  if  we 
did  not  dare  to  bring  them  to  trial  ?  How  much  more 
worthy  is  it  of  a  great  people,  I  added,  to  condemn  a  King, 
guilty  of  treason,  to  death  upon  the  scaffold !  This 
salutary  example,  while  it  strikes  well-justified  terror  into 
the  hearts  of  tyrants,  will  inspire  the  peoples  of  the  world 
with  a  devout  respect  for  our  nation,  etc.  ...  I  ended  by 
entreating  them  to  resist  the  counsels  of  a  few  ill-disposed 
persons  who  wished  to  drive  the  men  of  Paris  into  behaving 
with  violence  in  order  afterwards  to  poison  the  minds  of  their 
provincial  brethren  against  them ;  and  then,  to  show  them 
the  confidence  of  the  Council  in  their  good  intentions,  I  told 
them  it  had  been  decreed  that  six  of  them  should  be 
admitted  to  march  round  the  garden,  with  the  com- 
missioners at  their  head. 

Instantly  the  barrier  was  removed  and  about  a  dozen  men 
entered,  bearing  their  spoils.  These  we  led  towards  the 
Tower,  and  were  able  to  keep  them  fairly  in  check  till  they 
were  joined  by  the  workmen,  after  which  it  was  more  difficult 
to  restrain  them.  Some  voices  demanded  that  Marie 
Antoinette  should  come  to  the  window,  whereupon  others 
declared  that  if  she  did  not  show  herself  we  must  go 
upstairs,  and  make  her  kiss  the  head.  We  flung  ourselves 
before  these  maniacs,  swearing  they  should  only  carry  out 
their  horrible  design  after  passing  over  the  bodies  of  their 
municipal  officers.  One  of  the  wretches  declared  I  was  taking 
the  part  of  the  tyrant,  and  turned  upon  me  with  his  pike  so 
furiously  that  I  should  certainly  have  fallen  under  his  blows 
if  I  had  shown  any  weakness,  or  if  another  man  had  not 
opposed  him,  pointing  out  that  in  my  place  he  would  be 
obliged  to  act  as  I  did.  My  air  of  unconcern  impressed  him, 

46 


THE   NARRATIVE   OF   DAUJON 

and  when  we  went  out  he  was  the  first  to  embrace  me,  and 
call  me  a  fine  fellow. 

In  the  meantime,  two  commissioners  had  thrown  themselves 
in  front  of  the  first  inner  door  of  the  Tower,  and  prepared  to 
defend  the  approaches  with  devoted  courage ;  whereupon  the 
others,  seeing  that  they  could  not  win  us  over,  broke  into 
horrible  imprecations,  pouring  out  the  most  disgusting 
obscenities,  mingled  with  fearful  yells.  This  was  the  final 
gust  of  the  storm,  and  we  waited  for  it  to  blow  over.  Fear- 
ing, however,  lest  the  scene  should  lead  to  some  climax 
worthy  of  the  actors,  I  decided  to  make  them  another  speech.1 
But  what  could  I  say  ?  How  could  I  find  the  way  to  such 
degraded  hearts  ?  I  attracted  their  attention  by  gestures ; 
they  looked  at  me,  and  listened.  I  praised  their  courage  and 
their  exploits,  and  made  heroes  of  them  ;  then,  seeing  they 
were  calming  down,  I  gradually  mingled  reproach  with 
praise.  I  told  them  the  trophies  they  were  carrying  were 
common  property.  "By  what  right,"  I  added,  "do  you 
alone  enjoy  the  fruits  of  your  victory  ?  Do  they  not  belong 
to  the  whole  of  Paris  ?  Night  is  coming  on.  Do  not  delay, 
then,  to  leave  these  precincts,  which  are  so  much  too  narrow 
for  your  glory.  It  is  in  the  Palais  Royal,  or  in  the  garden  of 
the  Tuileries,  where  the  sovereignty  of  the  people  has  so 
often  been  trodden  under  foot,  that  you  should  plant  this 
trophy  as  an  everlasting  memorial  of  the  victory  you  have 
just  won." 

"  To  the  Palais  Royal  ! "  they  cried  ;  and  I  knew  my 
ridiculous  harangue  had  won  their  approval.  They  left  the 
place  ;  but  first  nauseated  us  with  their  horrible  embraces, 
redolent  of  blood  and  wine.2 

1  This  seemed  to  me  the  last  gentle  means  that  remained  to  us ;  and  1 
am  convinced,  by  the  effect  I  saw  produced  upon  my  barbarous  audience 
as  I  went  on,  that  I  only  gained  my  end  by  the  big  words  I  used, — words 
that  in  such  a  context  were  an  insult  to  reason  and  humanity.  If  I  had 
failed  I  should  have  seized  the  sabre  of  a  National  Guard  and  killed  the  first 
man  who  had  dared  to  come  forward.  When  a  man  loves  every  thing  connected 
with  the  glory  of  his  country,  and  is  deeply  sensible  of  the  duty  it  entails, 
there  is  nothing  that  he  will  not  attempt,  and  I  would  almost  say,  attempt 
successfully. — (Note  l>y  Daujon.) 

2  We  have  translated  into  Latin  several  lines  that  cannot  be  quoted  in 
Daujon's  words. — (Authors'  Note.) 

One  of  these  men,  after  embracing  me,  thrust  in  my  face  totam  cunni 

47 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

In  the  meantime  the  Legislative  Assembly  sent  us  the  six 
commissioners  for  whom  we  asked.  They  learnt  with 
pleasure  that  the  rumours  that  had  been  already  spread  were 

exteriorem partem  quam  ipse  a  cadavere  exciderat:  "moecham,  aiebat,  nemo 
jamfutuet!"  Quam  partem  dum  pilis  tenebat,  beseemed  as  proud  as  the 
leader  of  the  Argonauts. 

On  this  subject  I  think  I  ought  to  repeat  what  Bazire  told  to  a  friend  of 
his  and  mine,  in  whom  I  have  every  confidence. 

Bazire  was  then — during  that  September — a  member  of  the  Comite"  de 
Surveillance  of  the  legislative  body. 

Several  men  came  to  the  Committee  to  hand  over  the  Lamballe's  pockets, 
in  which  there  were  some  valuable  articles.  One  of  them  told  me  in  a  sort 
of  transport  se,  postquam  huic  mulieri  exanimi  vestem  detraxisset,  non 
potuisse  sibi  temperare  quin,  libidine  incensus  ad  conspectum  tarn  eximii 
corporis,  earn  futuerat ;  that  having  next  torn  her  heart  out  he  ate  it  on 
the  spot,  and  he  assured  me  he  had  never  tasted  anything  so  delicious.  He 
even  drew  my  attention  to  the  blood  with  which  his  lips  weie  still  stained. 
Then  he  pulled  from  his  pocket  carnis  lacerat  frustum  pilis  obductum, 
which  he  said  he  had  cut  off  the  Lamballe. 

"After  placing  on  the  table  the  gold  and  jewels  they  had  found  on 
her,  they  asked  us  for  a  reward,  and  their  manners  and  gestures  forbade 
all  idea  of  a  refusal.  We  told  them  to  take  what  they  wanted.  They 
were  satisfied  with  a  coin  of  twenty-four  livres ;  but  if  they  had  taken 
everything  we  should  have  been  very  glad  to  be  rid  of  them  so 
cheaply." 

I  prefer  to  believe  that  most  of  the  facts  in  this  story  are  greatly 
exaggerated,  not  to  say  untrue.  I  will  support  this  opinion. 

1st.  The  man  from  whom  Bazire  says  he  received  this  horrible  con- 
fidence seems  to  have  been  the  same  who  spoke  to  me  at  the  Temple, 
and  showed  me  what  Bazire  refers  to  ;  yet  this  man  said  nothing  to 
me  beyond  what  I  have  repeated,  although  it  would  have  been  more 
natural  and  less  dangerous  to  speak  openly  at  that  time,  since  the 
moment  of  action,  if  I  may  so  describe  it,  is  most  likely  to  be  also  the 
moment  of  expansion. 

2ndly.  The  massacres  of  the  prisoners  took  place  in  public ;  and  this 
particular  murder  in  such  broad  daylight  that  the  outrage  is  in- 
conceivable. 

3rdly.  Several  individuals  boasted  of  having  torn  out  the  heart  to 
which  Bazire  alludes ;  several  others  of  having  eaten  it ;  others  again 
said  they  saw  it  on  the  end  of  a  pike,  etc. 

4thly.  I  found  my  opinion,  moreover,  on  the  fact  that  it  is  impossible 
for  the  most  diseased  imaginations,  even  though  mastered  by  the 
blindest  passion,  to  dwell  for  a  moment  without  horror  on  some  parts 
of  this  atrocious  picture.  But  finally,  I  found  it  on  the  fact  that 
Bazire,  when  I  put  forward  some  of  these  objections,  merely  answered : 
"That  was  what  he  told  me,  but  I  don't  believe  a  word  of  it." 

And  I,  too, — did  I  not  hear  that  son  accuse  his  mother  and  his  aunt  of 
things  that  could  hardly  take  place  between  self-respecting  lovers  ?  I 
heard  it — I  wrote  it  down — and  I,  too,  said  :  I  cannot  believe  a  word 
of  it. 

Ah  !  if  we  honour  humanity,  if  we  respect  morality,  let  us  believe  that 
the  intoxication  in  which  these  wretches  were  wallowing,  which  had 
perhaps  been  increased  by  a  certain  amount  of  applause,  due,  no  doubt,  to 
the  dangers  that  threatened  the  country,  had  driven  them  to  desecrate  all 

48 


THE   NARRATIVE   OF  DAUJON 

false,  and  in  the  name  of  the  legislative  body  expressed  their 
satisfaction  with  the  way  we  had  behaved. 

Hardly  had  the  commissioners  departed  when  Petion,  the 
mayor,  arrived.  He  appeared  to  be  in  a  desperate  state 
because  we  had  allowed  Marie  Antoinette  to  be  made  to  kiss 
the  Lamballe's  head.  "  No  magistrate,"  he  said,  "  should 
have  permitted  anything  so  horrible."  He  was  delighted  to 
hear,  not  only  that  no  one  had  entered  the  Tower,  but  that 
the  commissioners  who  were  with  the  prisoners  had  not  even 
allowed  them  to  approach  the  windows  to  find  out  the  cause 
of  the  noise  in  the  garden,  but  had  made  them  go  at  once 
into  another  room  at  the  back. 

Santerre,  the  commandant-general,  also  came  to  the 
Temple. 

We  did  not  wish  to  interrupt  Daujon's  narrative  by  notes  of 
our  own,  hut  a  short  postscript  is  necessary. 

The  passage  in  which  the  municipal  officer  describes  the 
moral  collapse  and  unreasoning  fear  of  Louis  XVI.  at  the  ap- 
proach of  the  septembriseurs  is  calculated,  no  doubt,  to  give  a 
shock  to  many  of  our  readers  ;  and  no  one  can  fail  to  be 
surprised,  since  in  many  other  circumstances  of  greater  and 
more  imminent  danger  the  King  showed  so  much  courage,  so 
much  resignation — so  much  insensibility,  if  the  word  is  pre- 
ferred— that  it  is  very  astonishing  to  hear  of  his  trembling  at 
the  news  that  a  band  of  murderers  was  approaching.  They 
had  been  nearer  him  on  the  6th  October,  and  at  Varennes, 
and  on  the  20th  June,  and  he  had  remained  unmoved.  When 

that  is  most  sacred.  But  let  us  beware  of  adding  anything  to  what  is 
already  only  too  horrible. 

I  will  end  this  deplorable  tale  with  a  fact  that  shows  how  cautious  one 
must  be  in  believing  anything  that  is  contrary  to  nature. 

A  father  and  mother,  very  worthy  people,  both  moral  and  humane,  who 
had  trained  their  children  on  the  same  lines,  assured  me  that  one  of  them 
had  boasted  of  taking  part  in  the  massacres  of  September  :  and  that  it  was 
only  a  few  hours  before  his  death,  after  a  long  illness,  that  he  confessed  to 
them  that  he  had  not  even  been  in  the  prisons,  but  had  said  he  had  been 
there  to  avoid  looking  like  a  coward,  and  because  he  heard  others  saying 
the  same. 

Yet  he  had  covered  his  sword  with  blood ;  he  had  put  blood  upon  his 
clothes ;  he  had  accused  himself  of  a  crime  he  had  not  committed.  The 
fact  that  he  had  not  committed  it  was  a  crime  against  the  public  opinion 
of  the  moment ;  and  how  many,  perhaps,  were  guilty  of  no  other. — (Note 
by  Daujon.) 

49  E 


\ 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

he  crossed  the  garden  of  the  Tuileries  on  the  morning  of  the 
10th  August  he  had  been  for  a  quarter  of  an  hour  in  the  very 
midst  of  an  uncontrolled  mob,  whose  appetite  had  been  whetted 
by  the  blood  of  the  newly-murdered  Suleau  and  Vigier.  But 
his  disconcerting  indifference  did  not  forsake  him  for  an  instant. 
"  How  early  the  leaves  are  falling  this  year ! "  was  his  only 
reflection  on  the  events  of  the  day. 

And  afterwards,  on  the  21st  January,  was  his  attitude  that 
of  a  coward  ?  The  only  two  witnesses  who  were  able  to  watch 
him  closely  on  the  scaffold — his  confessor  and  his  executioner — 
both  testified  that  he  died  with  heroic  resignation. 

I  do  not  think,  then,  that  these  few  lines  by  Daujon  need  do 
any  real  injury  to  the  memory  of  Louis  XVI.  Not  that  I  doubt 
the  truth  of  the  story,  but  it  is  very  probable  that  this  man  who, 
without  being  bad,  was  rough  and  rather  uncivilised,  may  in  his 
hatred  for  the  tyrant  have  branded  as  cowardice  a  mere  momentary 
weakness — excusable  enough,  one  must  admit,  after  so  many 
weeks  and  months  and  years  spent  in  agony  and  disillusionment. 
And  if  it  is  true  that  the  King's  habitual  calmness  forsook  him, 
and  his  nerves  for  once  obtained  the  upper  hand,  we  can  only 
assume  that  as  a  rule  he  controlled  them,  and  that  the  insensi- 
bility usually  attributed  to  his  callous  nature  should  really  be 
ascribed  to  the  unsuspected  force  of  his  character.  One  would 
certainly  not  have  expected  a  conclusion  so  nattering  to  the 
King  to  be  drawn  from  Daujon's  narrative.  Louis  XVI. 's  one 
exhibition  of  fear  reminds  us  that  the  blood  of  Henri  IV.  flowed 
in  his  veins.  On  all  the  other  occasions,  no  doubt,  he  was 
afraid,  but  afraid  after  the  same  fashion  as  his  ancestor,  who 
as  he  flung  himself  into  the  thick  of  the  battle  was  wont  to 
grind  his  teeth  and  say :  "  You  are  trembling,  are  you,  you 
carcase  ?  If  you  only  knew  where  I  was  taking  you  !  " 

It  is  with  the  greatest  repugnance  that  we  approach  another 
subject :  the  Dauphin's  horrible  words  in  connection  with  his 
mother,  his  sister,  and  his  aunt.  Here  we  are  dealing  with  the 
greatest  crime  of  the  Revolution,  and  the  most  atrocious  plot, 
surely,  that  was  ever  formed  in  a  human  brain.  It  was  very 
probably  Hebert,  the  infamous  Pere  Duchesne,  who  conceived 
the  shameful  idea  of  making  the  son  give  evidence  against  his 
mother — and  in  such  terms  !  (We  refer  those  of  our  readers  who 
wish  to  know  what  those  terms  were  to  M.  Campardon's  History 
of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal  in  Paris,  vol.  I.  page  129). 

50 


THE   NARRATIVE   OF   DAUJON 

We  will  make  a  contribution  to  this  heartbreaking  story  in 
the  form  of  another  document,  a  document  even  more  terrible 
perhaps  than  the  official  minutes  that  were  read  aloud  in  court  in 
the  presence  of  the  wretched  and  indignant  mother. 

We  know  that  on  the  19th  January,  1794-,  Simon's  functions 
as  the  Dauphin's  tutor  came  to  an  end.  An  English  agent,  in 
regular  correspondence  with  Lord  Granville,1  wished  to  learn, 
from  Simon  himself,  the  exact  condition  of  Louis  XVI. 's  son 
at  the  time.  This  agent  twice  succeeded  in  meeting  the  too 
notorious  cobbler.  The  latter  did  not  deny  that  he  had  left 
his  post  from  sheer  disgust ;  he  was  horrified  by  what  he  had 
seen.  The  English  spy  reported  these  interviews  to  his  Govern- 
ment in  the  following  words  : 

"  Simon  admits  that  the  King  (Louis  XVII.)  has  been  taught 
the  habit  of  drinking  strong  liquors,  and  that  he  has  no  sort  of 
education ;  that  Hebert  and  the  soldiers  with  whom  he  is 
thrown  teach  him  nothing  but  foul  and  blasphemous  language. 
He  declares  that  more  than  once  he  wished  to  counteract  these 
lessons,  and  incurred  very  great  danger  on  account  of  the  child's 
indiscretions.  Those  who  give  me  this  information  add  that 

they  do  not  believe  a  word  of  this.      Simon thinks 

that  the  measures  taken  at  that  time  to  make  him  (Louis  XVII.) 
give  evidence  against  his  mother,  and  to  prove  by  his  condition 
that  the  evidence  was  true,  were  enough  to  injure  him,  body  and 
soul.  He  has  no  hesitation  in  saying  that  there  is  something 
the  matter  with  the  boy  and  that  nothing  is  being  done  to  cure 
him.  He  is  given  nothing  to  amuse  him  but  the  most  obscene 
books,  and  in  fact,  since  the  King's  death,  everything  possible 
has  been  done  to  deprave  him.  He  says  that  now  and  then  the 
boy  feels  his  position,  and  cries,  and  becomes  desperate ;  and 
then  the  commissioners  divert  him  with  brandy  and  billiards : 
and  that  several  times  Hebert  has  threatened  him  that  he  will 
have  him  guillotined,  and  that  this  terrifies  him  so  horribly 
that  he  (Simon)  has  often  seen  the  child  faint  away  at  the 
threat."  2 

The  threat  was  by  no  means  an  empty  one  ;  for  the  frenzied 
brains  of  the  politicians  of  the  day  were  haunted  by  the  idea  of 

1  Probably  Lord  Grenville.  In  some  of  the  later  notes  the  name  is  so 
spelt.  — ( Translator. ) 

*  Francis  Drake  to  Lord  Granville.  Schedule  No.  2  (Feb.  12th,  1794). 
Historical  Manuscripts  Commission.  The  manuscripts  of  J.  B.  Fortescue, 
Esq. ,  preserved  at  Dropmore,  vol.  II. ,  p.  529. 

51  E    2 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

sending  this  child  of  nine  years  old  to  the  scaffold.  Did  not 
Billaut-Varenne  say  ? — "  Let  the  allied  powers  understand  plainly 
that  the  blade  above  the  head  of  the  tyrant's  son  is  hanging  by 
a  single  thread,  and  that  if  they  advance  one  step  nearer  he  will 
be  the  first  victim  of  the  people.  It  is  by  vigorous  measures  of 
this  kind  that  a  new  government  gains  self-confidence."  x 

We  must  complete  Daujon's  narrative  with  two  other  docu- 
ments. We  must  follow  the  murderers  as  they  carry  Madame  de 
Lamballe's  remains  away  from  the  Temple,  and  must  learn  the 
end  of  the  repulsive  incident. 

The  Due  de  Penthievre,  being  warned  of  the  dangers  that 

threatened  the  Princesse  de  Lamballe,  had  charged  M.  de 

to  keep  his  eye  upon  her,  and  "supposing  any  harm  should 
happen  to  her  to  have  her  body  followed  wherever  it  was  carried  and 
have  it  buried  in  the  nearest  cemetery  till  it  could  be  taken  to 
Dreux." 

This,  it  must  be  admitted,  was  a  very  strange  precaution.  So 
clear  a  premonition  of  the  horrible  scene  that  followed  the 
princess's  death  would  seem  to  show,  not  merely  that  the 
murderers  acted  with  premeditation  but  even,  incredible  as  it 
appears,  that  the  Due  de  Penthievre  had  received  notice  of  their 
intentions. 

Be  that  as  it  may,  M.  de ordered  three  devoted  servants 

to  disguise  themselves  so  that  they  could  not  possibly  be  recog- 
nised, gave  them  a  fairly  large  sum  in  small  assignats,  and 
enjoined  upon  them  to  spare  nothing  in  their  efforts  to  fulfil  the 
duke's  behests,  if  by  any  unhappy  chance  the  princess  could 
not  be  saved.  Weber,  in  a  note  in  his  Memoirs,  describes  the 
strange  peregrinations  of  these  emissaries. 

"  The  Princess  de  Lamballe,"  he  says,  "  had  escaped  on  the 
2nd,  and  they  were  beginning  to  hope,  when  on  the  3rd  they 
were  informed  that  the  massacres  were  being  renewed. 

Finally  M.  de was  told  that  the  villains  had  put  an 

end  to  the  life  of  the  Queen's  friend  and  seemed  resolved 
to  glut  their  infernal  rage  upon  her  still  quivering  remains. 

"It  was  then  that  these  three  faithful  servants,  over- 
coming the  horror  with  which  the  cannibals  inspired  them, 
joined  them  in  the  hope  of  securing  the  unhappy  woman's 

1  H.  Wallon,  Histoire  du  Tribunal  R6volutionnaire  de  Paris,  vol.  I. 
p.  285. 

52 


THE  NARRATIVE   OF   DAUJON 

body.  The  cannibals  wished  first  to  carry  it  to  the  Hotel  de 
Toulouse.1  Someone  warned  the  prince's  retainers,  who 
shuddered  at  the  bare  idea,  but  nevertheless,  did  not  wish 
to  oppose  it.  They  opened  all  the  entrances,  and  tremblingly 
awaited  the  horrible  procession.  They  were  already  in  the 
Rue  de  Clery  when  a  man,  touched  by  the  horror  that  the 
prince's  household  must  surely  feel  if  this  dreadful  spectacle 
were  thrust  upon  them,  went  up  to  Charlat,  who  was  carrying 
the  head,  and  asked  him  where  he  was  going. 

" '  To  make  this kiss  her  fine  furniture."* 

"  '  But  you  are  making  a  mistake.  This  is  not  her  house  : 
she  does  not  live  here  any  longer,  but  at  the  Hotel  de  Louvois 
or  the  Tuileries.' 

"  And  it  was  quite  true  that  the  princess  had  some  stables 
in  the  Rue  de  Richelieu,  and  some  rooms  in  the  palace, 
though  this  did  not  alter  the  fact  that  her  real  home  was  in 
the  Hotel  de  Toulouse.  But  happily  the  brigands  believed 
this  good-hearted  man,  who  thus  saved  the  prince's  faithful 
servants  from  a  deeply  painful  experience.  The  horde  of 
savages,  then,  did  not  stop  at  the  hotel,  but  went  to  the 
Tuileries.  They  were  not  allowed  to  enter  the  palace, 
however.  Then  they  returned  to  the  corner  of  the  Rue  des 
Ballets,  in  the  Faubourg  Saint-Antoine,2  opposite  the  notary's 
house,  and  went  into  a  tavern,  where  there  seemed  some  hope 
of  robbing  them  of  the  mutilated  body ;  but  they  seized  it 
again  and  flung  it  on  a  heap  of  corpses  near  the  Chatelet. 
The  emissaries  of  M.  le  Due  de  Penthievre  imagined  that 
they  could  easily  find  it  there  again,  and  turned  all  their 
attention  to  securing  the  head. 

"It  was  still  adorned  by  her  beautiful  hair,  when  the 
monsters  came  to  a  fresh  decision  :  namely,  to  make  the 
wretched  woman  look  once  more  upon  the  scenes  in  which  she 
would  no  longer  move 3 — for  in  their  horrible  delirium  they 

1  Where  the  Due  de  Penthievre  usually  lived.     It  is  now  the  Bank  of 
France.     It  seems  evident  that  the  murderers,  before  going  to  the  Hotel  de 
Toulouse,  had  gone  to  the  Temple  ;  for,  as  we  have  seen,  it  was  by  Daujon's 
advice  that  they  went  back  to  the  heart  of  the  town. 

2  (Sic)  Here  we  should  read  Rue  Saint-Antoine.      The  end  of  the  Rue 
des  Ballets  was  opposite  to  La  Force,  where  the  Rue  Malher  is  now. 

3  All  these  allusions  enable  us  to  form  an  idea  of  the  route  followed  by 
those  who  were  carrying  Madame  de  Lamballe's  remains.     From  La  Force 

53 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

thought  the  senseless  remains  of  their  victim  were  still 
conscious  of  their  outrages.  At  the  very  moment  that  the 
head  passed  under  the  door  of  La  Force,  a  hairdresser 
sprang  forward  and,  with  the  most  astonishing  dexterity, 
cut  off  the  hair. 

"  The  emissaries  of  M.  le  Due  de  Penthievre  were  much 
distressed  by  this,  for  they  knew  the  prince  would  have 
especially  desired  to  keep  the  princess's  hair;  but  they 
became  only  the  more  anxious  to  get  possession  of  what  was 
left,  and  after  having  reduced  Charlat's  mind  to  a  state  of 
complete  confusion  they  persuaded  him  to  leave  the  pike 
at  the  door  of  a  tavern,  into  which  two  of  them  accompanied 
him.  It  is  said  that  the  man  P.1  took  advantage  of  that 
moment  to  drag  the  head  from  the  iron  that  pierced  it  and 
to  wrap  it  in  a  napkin  with  which  he  had  provided  himself 
on  purpose.  He  summoned  his  comrades  and  went  with 
them  to  the  Popincourt  section,  where  he  declared  that  he 
had,  wrapped  in  the  napkin,  a  head  that  he  wished  to 
deposit  in  the  cemetery  of  the  Quinze-Vingts,  and  that  he 
would  come  next  day  with  two  others  of  his  comrades  to  take 
it  away,  and  would  give  a  hundred  crowns  in  silver  to  the 
poor  of  the  section. 

"They  reported  to  M.  de what  they  had  done, 

and  he  advised  them  to  go  to  the  section  very  early  the  next 
morning,  and  made  arrangements  elsewhere  for  the  recovery 
of  the  body.  It  was  in  a  half-ruined  house  that  the  remains 
of  the  unhappy  victims  had  been  laid.  M.  de spared 

they  proceeded  first  to  the  Temple  by  the  Rue  des  Franc-Bourgeois,  Rue 
du  Chaume,  and  Rue  de  la  Corderie.  To  reach  the  Hotel  de  Toulouse  (Bank 
of  France)  they  certainly  followed  the  boulevards  as  far  as  the  Porte  Saint- 
Denis,  since  they  went  through  the  Rue  de  Clery.  Moreover,  we  know 
that  at  the  Temple  they  expressed  their  intention  of  going  to  the  Palais 
Royal ;  they  must  therefore  have  approached  the  Tuileries  by  way  of  the 
Passage  du  Perron,  the  garden  of  the  Palais  Royal,  and  the  Carrousel. 
The  main  artery  of  Paris,  the  streets  of  Saint-Honore,  La  Ferronnerie,  La 
Verrerie  and  Le  Roi  de  Sicile,  led  them  to  the  Rue  des  Ballets  opposite  to 
La  Force.  Then,  by  the  streets  of  Saint- An toine,  La  Tixeranderie  and  La 
Coutellerie,  they  went  to  the  Chatelet,  in  the  intention,  probably,  of  ridding 
themselves  of  the  corpse  by  depositing  it  in  the  Morgue.  But  the  Morgue 
was  closed  and  they  threw  the  body  into  a  building-yard.  Finally  they 
returned  with  the  head  to  La  Force,  where  the  Due  de  Penthievre's 
emissaries  succeeded  in  wresting  this  last  trophy  from  them. 
1  Pointel  (Jacques),  residing  at  No.  69,  Rue  des  Petits-Champs. 

54 


THE   NARRATIVE   OF  DAUJON 

neither  trouble  nor  money  in  his  efforts  to  find  those  of 
Madame  de  Lamballe,  but  without  success.  In  the  meantime 

M.   de ,  seeing  that  his  emissaries  had   not   returned, 

was  beginning  to  suspect  their  good  faith,  for  he  had  handed 
over  to  them  all  the  money  they  asked  for,  when  he  was  told 
that  the  three  men  had  been  arrested  on  the  charge  of 
murdering  Madame  de  Lamballe. 

"M.  de hastened  to   the  section  without  delay  and 

testified  to  the  truth  so  persistently  that  the  commissioners  of 
the  section  not  only  set  the  princess  servants  at  liberty,  but 

authorised  M.  de to  take  away  Madame  de  Lamballe's 

head.  He  went  to  the  cemetery  at  Quinze-Vingts  with  a 
plumber,  placed  in  a  leaden  box  all  of  the  precious  remains 
that  had  been  rescued,  and  despatched  them  to  Dreux,  where 
they  were  deposited  in  the  same  vault  that  was  to  receive  the 
body  of  M.  de  Penthievre." 

One  cannot  fail  to  be  touched  by  the  unemotional  terms  of 
the  official  report  drawn  up  at-the  section  of  the  Quinze-Vingts, 
in  the  very  hour  that  the  Due  de  Penthievre's  envoys  arrived 
with  the  desecrated  remains  of  the  Queen's  friend.  Whatever 
Weber  may  say,  the  prisoner's  body  was  found,  as  the  following 
document  shows. 

The  original  of  this  document  is  preserved  in  the  Carnavalet 
Museum,  and  is  one  of  the  various  relics  that  were  formerly  in 
the  Ledru-Rollin  Collection.  The  text  has  already  been 
published  by  M.  Bertin. 


Extract  from  the  Original  Minutes  of  the  Quinze-  Vingts 
Section. 

"  In  the  year  1792,  the  first  of  liberty  and  equality,  on  the 
3rd  of  September,  there  came  before  the  Permanent  Com- 
mittee of  the  Section  of  the  Quinze-Vingts  the  Sieurs  Jacques- 
Charles  Hervelin,  drummer  of  the  gunners  of  the  Section  des 
Halles,  formerly  the  battalion  of  Saint-Jacques-la-Boucherie, 
residing  at  No.  3,  Rue  de  la  Savonnerie,  opposite  the  little 
Rue  d" Avignon,  at  the  sign  of  the  Cadran  Bleu  ;  Jean-Gabriel 
Queruelle,  cabinet-maker  in  the  Rue  du  Faubourg  Saint- 

55 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

Antoine,  at  the  corner  of  the  Rue  Saint-Nicolas,  in  Bouneau's 
house ;  Antoine  Pouqiiet,  gunner  in  the  Montreuil  Section, 
living  at  No.  25,  Rue  de  Charonne,  in  the  house  of  Sieur 
Vicq  ;  Pierre  Ferric,  stationer  at  No.  39,  Rue  Popincourt ; — 
bearers  of  the  body  of  the  ci-devant  Princess  Lamballe,  who 
had  just  been  killed  in  the  Hotel  de  la  Force  and  whose  head 
had  been  carried  by  some  other  persons  through  the  open 
streets  at  the  end  of  a  pike.  They  informed  us  that  they  had 
found  the  following  articles  in  her  garments : — A  small  book 
with  gilt-edged  pages,  bound  in  red  morocco  and  entitled 
The  Imitation  of  Jesns  Christ ,  a  pocket-book  of  red  morocco, 
a  case  containing  eighteen  national  assignats  of  five  livres 
each,  a  gold  ring  set  with  a  moveable  blue  stone,  beneath 
which  was  some  fair  hair  tied  in  a  true-lover's  knot,  with 
these  words  above  it :  It  was  blanched  by  sorrow  ;  a  piece  of  the 
root  called  racine  d'Angleterre,  a  little  ivory  penholder  with 
a  gold  pen  and  two  little  circles  of  gold,  a  little  knife  with 
two  blades  and  a  tortoiseshell-and-silver  handle ;  a  corkscrew 
of  English  steel,  a  little  pair  of  pincers  in  English  steel  for 
pulling  out  hairs,  a  small  sheet  of  ordinary  cardboard  with  a 
picture  bearing  some  indecipherable  words,  a  list  of  linen  and 
other  garments  on  a  piece  of  paper,  two  little  glass  bottles 
with  gold  tops,  one  containing  ink  and  the  other  some  wafers 
of  various  colours,  and  a  sort  of  picture  with  a  design  on  both 
sides  of  it,  representing  on  one  side  a  flaming  heart  wreathed 
with  thorns  and  pierced  with  a  dagger,  with  this  legend 
below  :  Cor  Jesu,  salva  nos,  perimus,  and  on  the  other  a 
flaming  heart  pierced  with  a  dagger,  embroidered  all  round 
with  blue  silk — all  of  which  we  examined  in  the  presence  of 
the  above-named  and  undersigned,  to  whom  we  returned  all 
the  articles  as  they  desired,  to  be  taken  by  them  and  delivered 
over  to  the  National  Assembly,  in  accordance  with  their 
promise  and  assurance  ;  in  acknowledgment  of  which  they 
gave  us  a  receipt  and  signed  their  names  together  with  us, 
commissioners  and  registrar,  Caumont,  Borie,  Savard,  com- 
missioners ;  Renet,  registrar. 

"And  on  the  same  day,  at  seven  o'clock  in  the  evening, 
Citizen  Jacques  Pointel,  residing  in  the  section  of  the 
Haymarket,  No.  69,  Rue  des  Petits-Champs,  appeared  before 

56 


THE   NARRATIVE   OF   DAUJON 

the  Committee  of  the  Quinze-Vingts  section,  asking  us  to  use 
our  authority  in  the  matter  of  burying  the  ci-devant  Princesse 
de  Lamballe's  head,  which  he  had  just  succeeded  in  securing. 
Since  we  could  but  applaud  the  patriotism  and  humanity  of 
the  said  citizen,  we,  the  undersigned  commissioners,  instantly 
proceeded  to  the  Foundlings'  Cemetery,  and  there  had  the 
head  buried,  and  drew  up  the  present  report  of  the  said 
burial,  in  order  to  promote  the  truth  and  make  sure  of  the 
facts  at  the  time. 

" Delesquelle  and  Savard^  commissioners;  Pointel,  Renet, 
secretaries." 

Finally,  without  wishing  to  spread  the  rumour  that  Madame 
de  Lamballe  was  the  mistress  of  Philippe  Egalite,  Due  d'Orleans, 
we  will  quote  the  following  extract  from  the  report  of  an  English 
agent  employed  in  Paris  at  the  beginning  of  September,  1792. 
It  is  a  finished  picture  of  theTabsolute  indifference  with  which 
people  who  prided  themselves  on  being  philosophers  acquiesced 
in  tragedies  that  did  not  affect  their  personal  safety. 

"  Madame  de  Lamballe  was  literally  cut  to  pieces  in 
the  most  cruel  and  the  most  indecent  way.  Her  head  and 

her  heart  were  carried  on  pikes  through  the  streets 

When  this  murder  took  place  on  Monday,  Lindsay  and  some 
other  Englishmen  were  at  the  Palais  Royal  with  the  Due 
d'Orleans.  While  they  were  waiting  for  dinner  they  heard  a 
large  crowd  making  a  great  noise,  and  going  to  the  window 
they  saw  Madame  de  Lamballe's  head,  which  was  being 
taken  to  the  Temple,1  where  it  was  shown  to  the  Queen. 

"  Overcome  with  horror  at  the  sight,  they  drew  back 
into  the  further  end  of  the  room,  where  the  Due  d'Orleans 
was  sitting.  He  asked  what  was  going  on.  They  answered 
that  the  mob  was  carrying  a  head  on  the  end  of  a  pike. 
<  Oh,'  he  said,  '  is  that  all  ?  Well,  let  us  go  to  dinner ! ' 

"  While  they  were  at  dinner  he  asked  if  the  women  in 
the  prisons  had  been  massacred,  and  having  received  the 
answer  that  several  of  them  had  suffered  this  sad  fate, 
he  said :  '  Tell  me,  pray,  what  has  become  of  Madame 

1  Or,  no  doubt,  to  be  more  exact,  which  they  were  bringing  back  from  the 
Temple  and  taking  to  the  Tuileries. 

57 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

de  Lamballe.>  M.  Walkiers,  who  was  seated  beside  him, 
intimated,  by  a  movement  of  his  hand  round  his  neck, 
that  she  had  been  killed.  '  I  understand  you,1  said  the  duke, 
and  immediately  began  to  speak  of  something  else.""  l 


1  Letters  from,  Mr.  Burger  to  Lord  Granville  ;  under  date  of  September 
8,  1792.  Historical  Manuscripts  Commission.  The  Manuscripts  of  J.  B. 
ForUscw,  Esq.,  preserved  at  Dropmore.  (VoL  H.  ) 


58 


THE  NARRATIVE  OF  TURGY 

A  MAHSERVANT  EMPLOYED  IN  THE  TEMPLE 

(lOrn  AUGUST,  1792— l&ra  OCTOBER,  1793) 

Louis  FRANCOIS  TURGY  wasborn  in  Paris  on  the  18th  July, 
1763,  and  at  the  age  of  twenty-one  entered  the  King's  service. 
He  filled  a  very  modest  post  in  the  royal  kitchens,  and  it  was 
his  devotion  to  his  employers,  and  nothing  else,  that  won  him 
fame. 

We  are  about  to  read  of  the  manner  and  circumstances  in 
which  he  showed  this  devotion.  From  July  to  October,  1793, 
he  was  the  sole  remaining  link  that  connected  the  prisoners  of 
the  Temple  with  the  outer  world. 

After  leaving  the  Temple,  Turgy  joined  his  family  at  Tournan- 
en-Brie;  later  on  he  accompanied  Louis  XVI/s  daughter  to 
Vienna ;  in  1799  he  was  at  Mittau,  at  the  Court  of  the  exiled 
Louis  XVI 1 1.,  and  it  was  there  that  he  met  dery,  who,  at  the 
instigation  of  the  Princess  of  Hohenlohe,  was  putting  together 
his  recollections  and  writing  an  account  of  the  imprisonment  in 
the  Temple.  He  begged  Turgy  to  show  him  the  letters  of  the 
Queen  and  Madame  Elizabeth,  but  these  precious  documents 
had  been  left  at  Tournan,  and  Turgy's  father  destroyed  them 
at  the  time  of  the  Consulate,  lest,  if  the  relics  were  found,  he 
should  be  suspected  of  royalist  tendencies.  It  was  those  who 
had  been  readiest  to  stake  their  lives  during  the  Terror  who 
were  seized  in  this  way  with  a  sort  of  reactionary  fear  when  the 
danger  was  over.  For  many  of  them  the  nightmare  did  not 
begin  till  the  day  dawned. 

Turgy  then,  at  the  time  of  the  Restoration,  possessed  nothing 
but  his  very  accurate  recollection  of  all  that  had  occurred,  and 
the  contents  of  a  few  undated  notes.  It  was  with  the  help 
of  these  documents  that  his  narrative  was  written.  It  was 

59 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

published  in  1818,  among  the  documentary  authorities  for  the 
Histoire  de  Louis  XVII.  by  Eckard,  who  undertook  to  revise  it. 

As  early  as  1 799,  at  Mittau,  the  Duchesse  d' Angouleme  had 
shown  her  gratitude  to  Turgy  by  prompting  Louis  XVIII.  to 
write  the  following  testimonial : 

"I  have  the  greatest  satisfaction  in  stating  that  during  the 
imprisonment  of  the  late  King  my  brother  in  the  Temple,  and 
after  his  death,  as  long  as  it  was  possible  to  serve  the  late  King 
my  nephew,  the  late  Queen,  his  mother  and  my  sister-in-law, 
the  late  Madame  Elizabeth  my  sister,  and  Madame  la  Duchesse 
d' Angouleme  my  niece,  the  Sieur  Turgy  served  them  with  un- 
failing courage,  fidelity,  zeal,  and  intelligence.  And  since  I 
cannot  at  this  moment  reward  him  as  I  should  wish,  I  desire 
at  least  that  this  testimonial  should  be  for  him  a  certificate 
of  merit  for  ever,  and  for  his  children  and  descendants  an 
incentive  to  effort,  that  they  may  in  future  years  imitate  the 
example  he  has  given  them :  In  witness  whereof  I  have  written 
and  signed  this  testimonial  with  my  own  hand,  and  have  had  my 
seal  affixed  to  it.  At  the  Castle  of  Mittau  this  1 7th  December, 
1799-  Signed:  Louis." 

The  King  kept  his  promise.  In  1814  Turgy  was  nominated 
an  officer  of  the  Legion  of  Honour  and  received  a  patent  ot 
nobility.  When  he  died  in  Paris,  on  the  4th  June,  1823,  he 
was  first  valet  de  chambre  and  usher-of-the-closet  to  Her  Royal 
Highness  Madame  la  Duchesse  d' Angouleme. 

On  the  10th  August,  1792, 1  found  it  impossible  to  obtain 
admission  to  the  Tuileries.  On  the  two  following  days  my 
attempts  to  get  into  Les  Feuillants  were  equally  useless.  The 
royal  family  ate  nothing  there  but  the  food  brought  to  them 
from  various  places  by  the  people  who  had  remained  with 
their  Majesties.  Having  heard  that  Louis  XVI.  was  to  be 
removed  to  the  Temple,  I  hurried  off  to  M.  Menard  de 
Chousy,  Commissary-general  of  the  King's  Household,  to 
secure  the  favour  of  being  employed  there.  He  promised  me 
that,  wherever  the  royal  family  were  lodged,  if  a  single 
manservant  of  any  kind  were  needed,  he  would  name  no  one 
but  myself  for  the  post,  because  he  knew  that  this  would 
please  the  Queen.  He  at  once  despatched  M.  Rothe, 
Comptroller  of  the  Buttery,  to  ask  at  the  town  hall  for 
tickets  of  admission  ;  but  he  came  back  at  five  o'clock  and 

60 


THE   UNFORTUNATE   LOUIS    XVI. 

In  the  dress  he  wore  while  confined  in  the  Temple 


THE  NARRATIVE   OF  TURGY 

said  that  the  officials  would  only  promise  the  tickets  for  the 
next  day,  the  14th.  I  foresaw  that  once  the  King  were  in  the 
Temple  it  would  be  impossible  to  gain  admission  without  an 
inquiry  and  various  formalities  that  would  frustrate  my  end  : 
for,  since  I  had  never  been  concerned  with  anything  but  my 
duties,  I  had  nothing  to  recommend  me  to  the  enemies  of  the 
royal  family.  Without  speaking  of  it  to  anyone  else,  I  said 
to  my  comrades,  Chretien  and  Marchand  :  "  Let  us  simply  go 
to  the  Temple ;  perhaps  if  we  show  a  bold  front  they  will  let 
us  in."  They  followed  me.  We  arrived  at  the  main  entrance 
at  the  very  moment  when  one  of  the  officers  of  the  guard  was 
allowing  a  man  to  pass  in.  This  man  was  supplied  with 
a  ticket,  and  I  recognised  him  as^  being  in  the  King's  employ. 
I  begged  the  officer  to  let  me  speak  to  this  man,  and  told  the 
latter  that  I  and  my  companions  also  belonged  to  the  House- 
hold. At  first  he  hesitated  ;  then  he  answered  :  "  Take  my 
arm,  and  make  your  companions  take  yours,  and  I  will  get 
you  in."  Which  he  did.  We  were  taken  to  the  kitchen, 
where  I  found  no  supplies  of  any  kind.  Three  times  I  was 
obliged  to  go  out  to  procure  what  was  necessary.  I  decided 
to  go  out  by  the  door  called  the  Porte  du  Baillage,1  and  took 
the  precaution  of  making  the  porter  and  the  guards  look  at 
me  well,  so  that  I  should  be  able  to  get  in  again. 

We  laid  the  King's  supper  in  the  same  room  of  the  palace 
that  H.S.H.  Madame  la  Princesse  Louise  Adelaide  de 
Bourbon-Conde  has  now  made  into  her  chapel.2  The  royal 
family  continued  to  have  their  meals  in  this  room  until  the 
Great  Tower  became  their  only  lodging.3 

The   royal   family,  after   being   confined   for   three    days 

1  See  page  29,  Plan  A,  No.  63. 

2  That  is  to  say  in  the  large  salon  of  the  Temple,  Plan  A,  No.  22. 

3  The  Great  Tower  only  became  their  lodgings  on  the  26th  October ;  and 
although  it  is  quite  certain  that  Turgy  was  well-informed,  especially  with 
regard  to  everything   concerned  with  the  domestic  arrangements  of  the 
royal  family,   it  seems  astonishing  that  the  prisoners  should  have  been 
taken  to  eat  their  meals  in  the  rooms  of  the  Temple  Palace.     To  reach 
them  it  was  necessary  to  go  out  of  Palloy's  enclosure,  and,  as  the  passage  77 
had  been  cut  short  (see  plan  B),  to  cross  the  entire  garden  from  end  to  end. 
That  they  did  this  is  hard  to  accept. 

Madame  de  Tourzel,  on  the  contrary,  says  they  went  down,  at  the  hours 
of  their  meals,  to  a  little  room  that  was  below  that  of  the  Queen  and 
served  as  a  dining-room. 

61 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

in  the  tiny  cells  of  the  Feuillants,  would  have  thought  them- 
selves comparatively  fortunate  if  they  had  been  left  in 
the  palace.  But  after  supper  the  King  was  informed  that, 
in  order  to  ensure  his  safety  and  that  of  his  family,  they  were 
to  occupy  the  Tower  during  the  night.  The  sentries  who 
had  been  posted  on  every  landing  of  the  Tower  were  all 
Marseillais,  who  never  ceased  singing  while  the  Queen  was 
passing  up  to  her  rooms,  as  well  as  throughout  the  night : 

"  Madame  monte  a  sa  tour, 
Ne  salt  qiuand  descendra." 

Two  days  after  our  arrival  the  commissioners  of  the 
Commune  wished  to  know  who  had  admitted  us  to  the 
Temple.  I  answered  that  the  Committees  of  the  Assembly, 
after  having  enquiries  made  in  our  sections,  had  authorised  us 
to  take  up  our  duties  here  :  whereupon  they  retired.  The 
next  day  Chabot,  a  deputy,  Santerre,  the  Commandant- 
general,  and  Billaud-Varennes,  at  that  time  acting  as 
procureur-general  to  the  Commune,  came  to  identify  all  the 
people  who  had  remained  with  the  royal  family,  and  to  make 
a  list  of  their  names.  They  asked  us  if  we  had  been  in  the 
King's  employ,  and  I  answered  in  the  affirmative.  "But 
who  can  have  let  you  come  in  here  ?  "  cried  Chabot.  I  told 
him  that  Petion  and  Manuel,  after  making  enquiries  in  our 
section,  had  allowed  us  to  come  in.  "In  that  case,"  said 
Chabot,  "  it  must  be  because  you  are  good  citizens.  Remain 
at  your  posts,  and  the  nation  will  take  better  care  of  you 
than  the  tyrant  ever  did." 

When  we  were  alone  my  comrades,  who  were  much 
alarmed,  said  to  me :  "  Do  you  want  to  be  the  death  of 
us  all  ?  You  tell  the  town  councillors  that  we  were  sent  here 
by  the  Assembly,  and  you  tell  the  deputies  that  we  were  sent 
by  the  Commune :  we  wish  we  were  well  out  of  it ! " 
Nevertheless,  they  remained  in  the  Temple  and  were  faithful 
to  their  duty,  leaving  the  place  only  when  I  left  it  myself,  as 
I  shall  presently  relate. 

As  soon  as  the  King  was  removed  to  the  Temple  the  most 
minute  precautions  were  prescribed.  This  was  the  routine  in 
my  own  special  department.  Before  dinner  or  any  other 

62 


THE  NARRATIVE   OF   TURGY 

meal  someone  went  to  the  Council  Room  to  summon  two  of 
the  municipal  officers.  They  came  to  the  serving-room, 
where  the  dishes  were  prepared  and  tasted  before  them,  so 
that  they  might  see  there  was  nothing  concealed  in  them,  nor 
anything  suspicious  about  them.  In  their  presence  the 
decanters  and  coffee-pots  were  filled.  The  covers  for  the 
decanters  of  almond-milk  were  torn,  according  to  their 
directions,  by  any  person  and  from  any  piece  of  paper  they 
chose. 

Then  we  all  proceeded  to  the  dining-room,  but  we  did  not 
lay  the  table  till  we  had  shown  \it,  above  and  below,  to  the 
officers ;  we  unfolded  the  tablecloths  and  napkins  before 
them ;  they  tore  the  rolls  in  halves  and  probed  the  crumb 
with  forks,  or  even  with  their  fingers. 

Nevertheless,  I  was  often  able,  in  a  passage  or  the  corner  of 
a  staircase,1  to  replace  the  paper  stopper  of  a  decanter  by 
another,  upon  which  some  warning  or  news  had  been  written, 
either  with  lemon -juice  or  with  extract  of  gall-nut.  Some- 
times I  rolled  a  note  round  a  little  pellet  of  lead,  covered  it 
with  another  piece  of  stronger  paper,  and  threw  it  into 
the  decanter  of  almond-milk.  I  indicated  what  I  had  done 
by  a  sign  upon  which  we  had  agreed.  When  the  paper 
stoppers  had  no  writing  already  upon  them  they  were  used 
by  the  Queen  and  Madame  Elizabeth  for  giving  me  orders 
or  information  to  transmit  to  someone  else. 

Some  of  the  means  we  employed  for  communicating  with 
each  other  are  described  in  M.  Hue's  book  and  in  Clery's 
journal :  but  as  it  was  necessary  for  these  means  to  be  varied, 
they  demanded  the  greatest  caution,  and  often  involved 
delays  in  transmitting  news  to  the  royal  family.  To  obviate 
all  these  inconveniences  the  Queen  and  Madame  Elizabeth 
devised  a  way  of  corresponding  directly  with  me  by  signs. 

1  The  kitchens  and  offices  of  the  Temple  were  a  long  way  from  the 
Tower  (see  Plan  A).  We  shall  see,  in  Moelle's  narrative,  how  the  dishes 
for  the  prisoners'  table  were  carried  through  the  Grand  Prior's  Palace  and 
the  immense  garden  of  the  Temple — the  whole  length  of  the  existing 
square.  There  was  nothing  unusual,  moreover,  about  this  journey ;  at 
the  Tuileries  till  1830,  the  King's  meals  were  carried  in  this  way  through 
the  whole  series  of  rooms.  Even  at  Versailles  the  strange  procession  was 
daily  to  be  met  with  in  the  courts  of  the  palace,  escorted  by  an  armed 
guard. 

63 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

The  following  is  a  list  of  the  signals  suggested  to  me  one 
by  one  by  the  princesses,  in  connection  with  the  events  of 
September,  1792,  with  a  view  to  their  being  kept  informed 
both  of  the  progress  of  the  foreign  armies  and  of  the 
transactions  of  the  Convention,  in  spite  of  the  increased 
vigilance  of  the  municipal  officers.  They  are  in  Madame 
Elizabeth's  handwriting. 

For  the  English  :  place  the  right  thumb  upon  the  right  eye  ; 
if  they  are  landing  near  Nantes,  place  it  on  the  right  ear ; 
if  near  Calais,  on  the  left  ear. 

If  the  Austrians  are  successful  on  the  Belgian  frontier^ 
place  the  second  finger  of  the  right  hand  on  the  right  eye.  If 
they  are  entering  the  country  by  way  of  Lille  or  from  the 
Mayence  direction,  use  the  third  finger  as  above. 

For  the  troops  of  the  King  of  Sardinia,  use  the  fourth 
finger  in  the  same  way. 

N.B. — Be  careful  to  keep  thejinger  stationary  for  a  longer  or 
shorter  time  according  to  the  importance  of  the  battle. 

When  they  are  within  fifteen  leagues  of  Paris  follow  the 
same  order  for  the  fingers  but  be  careful  to  place  them  on  the 
mouth. 

If  the  Powers  should  be  concerning  themselves  with  the 
royal  family,  touch  the  hair  with  the  fingers  of  the  right  hand. 

If  the  Convention  should  pay  any  attention  to  them,  use  the 
left  hand ;  but  should  that  body  go  on  to  the  order  of  the  day, 
use  the  right. 

If  the  Convention  should  withdraw,  pass  the  whole  hand 
over  the  head. 

Should  the  troops  advance  and  be  successful,  touch  the  nose 
with  one  finger  of  the  right  hand,  and  use  the  whole  hand 
when  they  are  within  fifteen  leagues  of  Paris 

The  left  side  is  only  to  be  used  to  indicate  the  successes 
of  the  Convention. 

In  answering  any  question  the  right  hand  is  to  be  used  and 
not  the  left. 

These  signals,  as  is  evident,  as  well  as  the  questions  in 
various  notes,  refer  to  the  hopes  and  fears  of  the  princesses 
or  to  information,  true  or  false,  received  by  them. 

64 


THE   NARRATIVE   OF  TURGY 

The  written  correspondence  went  more  fully  into  the 
subjects  that  I  could  only  vaguely  indicate  by  signals.  For 
in  spite  of  the  vigilance  of  eight  or  ten  persons  hardly 
a  day  passed  during  the  fourteen  months  that  I  was  in 
the  Temple,  without  my  delivering  some  notes  or  other 
to  the  royal  family,  either  by  means  of  the  devices  already 
mentioned,  or  while  I  was  giving  them  the  objects  connected 
with  my  duties,  or  receiving  them  from  their  hands.  Or 
else  I  would  put  the  note  in  a  ball  of  thread  or  cotton, 
and  hide  it  in  a  corner  of  a^cupboard,  or  under  the  marble 
table,  or  in  the  hot-air  holes  of  the  stove,  or  even  in  the 
basket  that  the  sweepings  were  carried  away  in.  A  movement 
of  my  hand  or  eyes  indicated  the  spot  where  I  had  succeeded 
in  hiding  the  ball.  In  this  way  the  King  and  the  princesses 
were  nearly  always  kept  informed  of  the  progress  of  events. 

The  facilities  that  I  had  for  going  out  two  or  three  times  a 
week  to  fetch  provisions  enabled  me  to  be  the  bearer  of  any 
instructions  that  the  King  or  Queen  wished  to  send  to 
anyone,  and  to  bring  back  any  notes  or  news  that  were 
given  to  me  for  their  Majesties.  I  also  kept  the  frequent 
trysts  that  M.  Hue  made  with  me,  sometimes  in  the  most 
lonely  parts  of  Paris  and  sometimes  out  of  town,  when 
he  would  give  me  letters  for  the  King  or  answers  to  his 
Majesty's  orders.  Neither  persecutions  nor  imprisonment 
nor,  in  a  word,  any  fear  for  his  own  safety,  ever  affected  his 
devoted  courage. 

It  was  Madame  la  Marquise  (now  Duchesse)  de  Serent 
with  whom  the  Queen  and  Madame  Elizabeth  most  often 
corresponded.  Her  household  supposed  me  to  be  her  man 
of  business,  and  had  orders  to  let  me  in  at  any  hour  of  the 
day  or  night.  Everyone  has  heard  of  the  fine  spirit  and 
noble  devotion  shown  by  this  lady  throughout  the  trials 
of  the  royal  family,  on  a  great  many  occasions  that  were 
full  of  danger  to  herself.  Who  is  there  that  has  given 
greater  proof  than  Madame  la  Duchesse  de  Serent  that 
loyalty  to  the  King,  to  a  soul  of  true  nobility,  is  a  real 
religion  ?  Her  historic  name  is  prominent  in  many  literary 
works. 

It  was  only  rarely  that  I  was  searched  on  entering  or 

65  F 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

leaving  the  Temple,  because  I  was  very  careful  to  supply  the 
warders  with  everything  they  asked  for  when  they  visited  the 
kitchens.  This  made  them  more  amenable.  But  as  soon  as 
I  approached  the  Tower  or  any  room  occupied  by  one  of 
the  royal  family  all  my  movements  were  observed.  I  was 
forbidden  to  speak  to  any  person  whatever,  except  in  a  loud 
voice,  when  it  was  necessary  in  the  exercise  of  my  duties. 
I  was  even,  on  account  of  my  relations  with  the  outer  world, 
the  object  of  particular  vigilance.  And  the  royal  family 
themselves,  to  avoid  drawing  suspicion  upon  me,  were  cautious 
to  such  a  degree  that  on  one  occasion  the  King,  having  given 
me  a  knife  with  a  broken  handle  that  I  might  have  it 
mended,  and  remembering  that  he  had  not  shown  it  to 
the  municipal  officers,  asked  me  to  return  it  to  him  at 
once,  and  gave  it  to  them,  saying :  "  You  see,  gentlemen, 
there  is  nothing  inside/1  Then  the  King  returned  the 
knife  to  me,  impressing  upon  me  not  to  have  a  new  handle 
put  to  it,  for,  he  added  :  "  I  value  it  very  much  as  it  is, 
because  it  was  given  to  me  by  my  father." 

I  was  above  all  charged  to  discover  the  fate  of  those 
whose  zeal  and  fidelity  had  been  proved  by  the  royal  family. 
The  greater  number  of  them  had  been  forced  to  leave 
France  in  the  service  of  their  noble  cause,  and  the  laws 
against  the  emigres,  which  became  more  and  more  severe, 
were  consequently  a  matter  of  special  interest  to  the 

_£. 

princesses,  as  we  may  see  by  this  note  from  Madame  Elizabeth 
written  about  the  end  of  October. 

"A  note  for  Madame  de  S.  (Serent).  When  the  laws 
against  the  emigres  are  quite  completed,  let  us  know,  and  go 
on  giving  us  news  on  the  subject" 

I  have  not  yet  mentioned  Toulan.  His  behaviour  and 
violent  way  of  speaking  during  the  first  days  he  was  in  the 
Temple  made  us  dread  the  return  of  his  period  of  service. 

However,  the  sight  of  the  misfortunes  of  Louis  XVI.,  and 
the  princesses,  and  the  royal  children,  combined  with  their 
generosity  and  gentleness,  had  from  the  very  first  made  an 
unexpected  impression  upon  the  ardent,  sensitive  heart  of 
this  young  man,  an  impression  of  such  strength  that  he 

66 


THE  NARRATIVE  OF  TURGY 

resolved  to  employ  every  means  to  alleviate  the  fate  of  the 
royal  family.  I  do  not  know  how  he  contrived  to  inform  the 
princesses  of  his  fortunate  conversion  ;  but  it  was  thought  he 
could  serve  them  best  by  doing  nothing  to  alter  the  other 
commissioners1  opinion  of  him,  and  by  keeping  up  his  revolu- 
tionary tone  and  behaviour  towards  the  King  and  his  family. 
Having  been  assured  by  Madame  Elizabeth  that  I  might 
be  perfectly  open  in  my  dealings  with  Toulan,  I  had  several 
meetings  with  him  in  different  places,  where  we  talked  over 
the  various  commissions  that  the  princesses  confided  to  him. 
He  fulfilled  them  with  so  much  zeal  and  ability  that  at  the 
end  of  November  Madame  Elizabeth  informed  me,  in  the 
note  that  I  give  below,  of  the  distinguishing  name  by  which 
the  royal  family  would  in  future  allude  to  him. 

"  You  will  give  this  (note)  to  Toulan,  whom  in  future  we 
shall  call  Fidele.  If  you  cannot  deliver  it  at  dinner-time,  go 
to-morrow,  so  as  to  be  able  to  give  him  an  answer  to  what  we 
should  receive  from  him  to-day.  Tell  us  the  bad  news  as  well 
as  the  good,  when  there  is  any? 

But  while  those  who  were  the  enemies  of  the  royal  family 
only  because  they  had  not  known  them  were  moved  to  pity 
by  their  misfortunes,  the  prisoners  were  subjected  to  the 
most  atrocious  treatment  by  others  :  others  who  had  had  the 
honour  of  seeing  them  when  they  were  in  the  height  of  their 
prosperity,  or  who,  perhaps,  owed  everything  to  them.  One 
day  the  Queen  said  to  me  :  "  Turgy,  I  have  broken  my  comb : 
please  buy  me  another  " ;  whereupon  the  poet  D C ,* 

1  Dorat-Palemezeaux,  Chevalier  de  Cubieres,  born  at  Roquemaure  on  the 
27th  September,  1752. 

This  personage,  who  was  despised  by  all  alike,  both  by  the  terrorists  he 
flattered  and  by  the  royalists  whom  every  day  he  doomed  to  the  scaffold  in 
verses  that  were  as  dull  as  they  were  sanguinary,  composed  a  number  of 
revolutionary  poems.  He  wrote  odes  in  honour  of  Carrier,  Robespierre, 
and  Marat.  Everyone  knows  how  Chaumette  answered  him  when  he 
wished  to  dedicate  a  volume  of  verses  to  Madame  Chaumette  :  "  My  wife," 
said  the  procureur  of  the  Commune,  "  is  a  woman  of  letters  ;  her  works 
are  in  my  chest  of  drawers."  Opening  a  drawer,  he  showed  the  poet  a 
pile  of  old  stockings  which  the  Citoyenne  Chaumette  had  mended  and 
marked  with  his  initials. 

Cubieres  was  a  member  of  the  insurrectionary  Commune  of  the  10th 
August.  On  this  subject  Prud'homme  relates  that  in  order  to  be  made  a 
member  of  the  electoral  body  on  that  occasion  he  declared  that  his  mother 

67  F  2 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

who  was  a  municipal  officer,  cried  :  "  Buy  one  of  horn  :  wood 
is  too  good  for  her."  The  Queen  went  on  giving  me  her 
orders,  as  if  she  had  not  heard  the  insult.  I  replaced  the 
comb,  which  was  of  tortoiseshell,  by  a  similar  one.  When 
she  saw  it  the  Queen  said :  "  So  you  have  disregarded  the 

orders  of  I> C ,  for  he  declared  that  wood  would 

be  too  good  for  us  ;  he  who,  but  for  the  kindness  of  the 

King "       Her  Majesty   paused.      I   ventured    to    say : 

"  Madame,  there  were  many  who  seemed  to  be  paying  court 
to  the  royal  family,  but  it  was  only  because  of  the  Treasury." 
The  Queen  was  good  enough  to  say  to  me :  "  You  are  quite 
right,  Turgy." 

On  the  2nd  December  the  municipal  body  of  the  10th  of 
August  was  replaced  by  the  body  known  as  the  provisional 
municipality.  They  doubled  the  number  of  commissioners 
guarding  the  King  and  the  royal  family :  and  the  following 
incident  showed  us  the  kind  of  men  we  had  to  deal  with. 
The  Queen,  having  been  ill  all  the  next  day,  had  taken  no 
food,  and  told  me  to  bring  her  some  broth  for  supper.  As  I 
was  actually  handing  it  to  her  she  learnt  that  the  woman 
Tison  was  unwell,  whereupon  she  ordered  the  broth  to  be 
taken  to  her.  This  was  done.  I  then  begged  one  of  the 
commissioners  to  go  with  me  to  the  kitchens  to  fetch  another 

had  committed  a  crime  in  making  him  noble  when  his  father  was  not  so. 
Being  on  a  visit  of  inspection  at  the  Temple,  and  noticing  the  particularity 
with  which  Louis  XVI.  fasted  in  the  Ember  Days  and  read  his  prayers,  he 
reported  it  to  the  Commune,  arguing  that  the  King,  being  pious,  must 
necessarily  be  a  monster,  since  Louis  XL  and  Philip  II.  of  Spain  had  been 
both  pious  and  tyrannical.  He  had  taken  the  name  of  Dorat  from  vanity, 
thinking  in  this  way  to  create  some  confusion  between  his  heavy  verses 
and  the  charming  work  of  the  poet  of  the  Baisers.  We  know  what 
Madame  Roland  thought  of  the  Chevalier  de  Cubieres  :  "  Faithful  to  his 
two  characteristics  of  insolence  and  cowardice,  which  were  plainly  written 
for  all  to  see  upon  his  repulsive  face,  he  preached  sans-culottism  as  he  had 
once  done  honour  to  the  graces,  and  composed  verses  to  Marat  as  formerly 
to  Iris.  As  he  had  been  amorous  without  tenderness,  so  he  was  blood- 
thirsty without  passion  ;  he  knelt  humbly  before  the  idol  of  the  day, 
whether  it  were  Tantalus  or  Venus,  for  it  mattered  little  to  him  provided 
he  could  rant,  and  earn  enough  to  eat.  ...  A  shallow  courtier,  an  insipid 
flatterer,  at  once  idiotically  conceited  and  servilely  polite,  he  was  more 
surprising  to  people  of  sense  arid  more  unpleasing  to  people  of  judgment 
than  any  being  that  has  ever  been  seen."  By  way  of  a  finishing  touch  to 
this  portrait  we  will  add  that  Dorat-Cubieres  rewrote  the  Phedre  of  Racine, 
and  tried  to  make  the  world  believe  that  one  of  his  works  was  a  newly 
discovered  tragedy  by  Corneille  ! 

68 


THE   NARRATIVE   OF   TURGY 

bowl  of  broth.     Not  one  of  them  would  accompany  me,  and 
her  Majesty  was  obliged  to  do  without  the  broth. 

Toulan,  who  had  been  elected  to  sit  in  this  new  town- 
council,  constantly  gave  me  information  with  regard  to  the 
character  and  sentiments  of  his^eplleagues  ;  which  information 
was  very  useful  to  me  in  my  dealings  with  them. 

It  was  M.  Parisot  who  gave  me  the  decree  prescribing  that 
the  King  should  be  brought  to  the  bar  of  the  Convention 
to  answer  certain  questions.  I  placed  it  under  Clery's  bed, 
and  his  Majesty  read  it  at  once.  That  zealous  royalist, 
Parisot,  often  gave  me  writings  and  notes  of  very  great 
importance ;  while  Toulan,  for  his  part,  supplied  the  princesses 
with  reliable  information  as  to  all  that  was  being  hatched  in 
the  Jacobin  Club  and  the  Committees  of  the  Convention. 
He  contrived,  too,  to  be  often  on  duty  during  this  terrible 
time.  His  devotion  and  the  eager  marks  of  sympathy  shown 
by  several  of  the  commissioners,  whose  names,  I  regret  to  say, 
I  have  forgotten,  gave  some  consolation  and  even  some  hope 
to  the  Queen  and  the  royal  family. 

Clery  has  told  how  we  devised  a  means  of  correspondence 
between  the  King  and  the  princesses,  from  the  moment  that 
all  communication  between  them  was  forbidden.  While  he, 
Clery,  was  a  witness  of  the  sorrows  and  sublime  courage  of 
Louis  XVI.  it  was  my  part  to  watch  the  fears,  the  gleams  of 
hope,  and  the  anguish  of  the  Queen,  M.  le  Dauphin,  and  the 
princesses. 

The  accursed  21st  of  January  dawned.  At  about  ten 
o'clock  in  the  morning  the  Queen  tried  to  persuade  her 
children  to  take  some  food,  but  they  refused.  Soon  we  heard 
the  report  of  firearms.  Madame  Elizabeth,  raising  her  eyes 
to  heaven,  cried :  "  The  monsters now  they  are  con- 
tent ! "  The  Queen  was  speechless  with  grief ;  the  young 
prince  burst  into  tears ;  Madame  Royale  shrieked  aloud. 
Picture  the  scene  !  And  all  the  time  the  drums  were  rolling 
and  the  maniacs  who  guarded  the  Temple  were  shouting  their 
applause. 

Clery  remained  in  the  Temple  for  more  than  a  month 
longer,  but  was  unable  to  communicate  with  us.  When  I 
saw  him  after  his  release  I  received  from  his  hands,  with 


LAST  [DAYS  OF  MAEIE  ANTOINETTE 

feelings  of  sorrow  and  veneration  beyond  all  words,  the 
following  note,  which  the  King  in  his  infinite  kindness  had 
left  for  me. 

Note  from  Louis  XVI.  to  CLERY. 
%\st  January,  1793,  a  quarter  to  8  in  the  morning. 

"  /  charge  you  to  tell  Turgy  how  greatly  I  have  been  pleased 
with  his  faithful  attachment  to  me,  and  with  his  zeal  in  fulfilling 
his  duties.  I  give  him  my  blessing,  and  beg  him  to  continue 
caring,  with  equal  devotion,  for  my  family,  to  whom  I  commend 
him.'1'' 

The  fury  of  the  regicides  being  assuaged  for  the  moment,  the 
municipal  officers  who  had  so  greatly  tormented  Louis  XVI. 
and  his  family  came  more  rarely  to  the  Temple.  The 
princesses  were  watched  less  closely,  and  were  able  to  talk 
to  each  other  and  give  me  their  orders.  When  Toulan, 
Michonis,  and  one  or  two  others  were  on  duty,  the  royal 
prisoners  enjoyed  a  semblance  of  liberty. 

The  only  note  of  this  period  that  I  still  possess  is  from 
Madame  Elizabeth. 

"  Thank  Hue  for  us.  Find  out  from  him  whether  he  took 
the  hair  himself,  or  bought  it  ;l  and  whether  he  could  not, 
through  some  private  source  of  information,  Jind  out  what  the 
Committee  of  General  Security  means  to  do  with  us" 

It  was  during  this  period  that  Toulan  conceived  the  rash 
idea  of  helping  Louis  XVII.  and  the  royal  family  to  escape 
from  the  Temple.  According  to  my  notes,  the  plan  was  to 
be  executed  as  follows.  I  was  to  carry  away  the  young  King 
in  a  basket  covered  with  napkins :  the  Queen,  disguised  as  a 
municipal  officer,  was  to  come  to  the  door  on  the  staircase  to 
ensure  my  being  allowed  to  pass  :  her  Majesty  was  to  go  out 
a  few  moments  afterwards :  Madame  Roy  ale,  dressed  like 
the  lamplighter's  son,  and  accompanied  by  M.  Ricard 2  dis- 

1  The  hair  of  Louis  XVI.  no  doubt. 

2  At  that  time  Inspector  of  National  Property,  and  a  zealous  royalist. 
At  the  restoration  he  was  appointed  to  a  post  in  the  office  of  the  Royal 
Lottery.     It  was  Ricard  who  wrote  the  notes  that  Turgy  and  Toulan 
delivered  to  the  prisoners.     His  thin,  neat  handwriting,  Turgy  said,  was 
of  the  greatest  use. 

70 


THE   NARRATIVE   OF   TURGY 

guised  as  the  lamplighter,  and  carrying  his  box,  was  to  pass 
out  at  the  same  time  as  Madame  Elizabeth,  who  was  to  go 
before  them  dressed,  like  the  Queen,  as  a  commissioner.  I 
know  nothing  more  of  the  measures  that  were  to  be  adopted 
in  the  escape  from  the  Tower.  I  believe  it  was  owing  only 
to  the  hesitation  of  the  municipal  officers  (I  am  not  speaking 
of  the  intrepid  Toulan)  that  the  plan  was  never  executed. 

When  the  royal  family  were  not  too  closely  watched  by 
their  warders,  the  princesses  liked  to  remind  each  other  of 
various  services  that  had  been  rendered  to  them  by  the  loyal 
during  the  horrible  scenes  of  the  Revolution.  The  Queen 
condescended  one  day  to  recall  the  first  occasion  on  which  I 
was  fortunate  enough  to  be  observed  by  herself  and  the  King, 
on  the  unhappy  morning  of  the  6th  October.  She  repeated 
several  times,  in  the  presence  of  Louis  XVII.  and  Madame 
Royale,  that  I  had  saved  her  life  that  day  by  opening  for  her 
the  secret  door  between  her  private  apartments  and  the  room 
called  the  (Ell  de  Bceuf,  through  which  she  ran  to  take  refuge 
with  the  King,  shutting  the  door  in  the  face  of  the  murderers 
who  were  pursuing  her.1  The  most  remarkable  fact  on  these 
occasions  was  that  the  Queen  never  spoke  of  those  who  had 
given  her  such  cruel  cause  for  complaint,  and  while  she 
enjoined  upon  her  august  children  to  remember  good  actions, 
she  set  them  an  example  in  the  forgetting  of  injuries. 

Towards  the  end  of  March  the  unfavourable  reports  that 
reached  the  General  Council  with  regard  to  Toulan  and 
several  of  his  colleagues  made  the  commissioners  on  duty 
more  suspicious  than  before.  We  were  obliged  to  resort  to 
notes  once  more.  Madame  Elizabeth  wrote : — 

"  M?s  words  gave  us  much  pleasure.  (Monsieur,  the  King's 
brother,  had  declared  himself  Regent  of  the  kingdom.) 

1  There  were,  in  the  palace  of  Versailles,  two  ways  of  communicating 
between  the  King's  rooms  and  those  of  the  Queen  :  one  was  a  secret  way, 
a  narrow  and  winding  passage,  built  at  the  same  height  as  an  entresol, 
which  traversed  the  whole  ground  floor  of  the  palace  ;  the  other  was  public, 
and  in  a  certain  sense  official,  and  consisted  of  three  little  rooms,  over- 
looking a  back  yard,  and  dividing  the  Queen's  large  room  from  the  (Eil  de 
Bceiif.  This  whole  labyrinth  of  little  rooms  and  secret  staircases  and 
hidden  doors  is  still  existing,  though  closed  to  the  public,  and  there  on  the 
actual  spot  one  may  recall  the  events  of  the  night  between  the  5th  and  6th 
October,  which  are  described  with  so  much  confusion  and  inconsistency  by 
those  who  saw  them. 

71 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

"  As  it  is  most  important  that  our  secret  should  be  known  by 
no  one,  do  not  speak  of  our  method  of  correspondance. 

"  Give  this  (a  note)  to  the  person  at  whose  house  you  were 
on  Saturday,  and  with  it  give  something  to  make  the  writing 
visible.  Above  all  do  not  answer  me  till  Tuesday,  so  as  not  to 
have  more  letters  to  deliver  than  necessary.  Did  they  seem 
anxious  tojind  out  who  gave  us  news,  and  do  you  think  they 
spoke  of  it  to  the  General  Council  ?  I  have  found  the  book." 
(This  was  a  Holy  Week  that  Madame  Elizabeth  had  asked 
me  for.) 

Various  accusations,  notably  those  brought  by  Tison  and 
his  wife  against  the  Queen,  the  princesses,  and  many  others, 
were  the  reason  that  Toulan^s  name  and  those  of  some  other 
municipal  officers  were  erased  from  the  list  of  those  appointed 
to  serve  in  the  Temple.  The  men  who  replaced  them  received 
such  stringent  orders,  and  were,  moreover,  so  devoted  to  the 
enemies  of  the  royal  family,  that  correspondence  again  became 
extremely  difficult.  In  the  meantime  the  progress  of  events, 
not  only  in  France  but  also  beyond  the  frontier,  was  greatly 
disturbing  the  princesses.  ^  They  were  obliged  to  resort  to 
signals  again.  Madame  Elizabeth  gave  me  the  following 
code,  partly  at  the  end  of  April  and  partly  in  May. 

"  In  the  case  of  a  truce,  putt  up  your  collar.  If  we  are 
being  demanded  at  the  frontier,  put  your  right  hand  in  your 
coat-pocket.  If  Paris  is  being  provisioned,  lay  your  hand  on 
your  chin. 

"  Touch  your  forehead  if  General  Lamarliere  is  gone.  If 
the  Spaniards  are  trying  to  join  the  troops  from  Nantes,  rub 
your  eyebrows.  If  it  is  thought  likely  that  we  shall  still  be 
here  in  the  month  of  August,  blow  your  nose  without  turning 
round. 

"  After  supper  go  to  Fidele  (Toulan)  and  ask  him  if  he  lias 
any  news  of  Produse  (the  Prince  de  Conde)  ,•  if  he  has  good 
news,  put  the  napkin  under  your  right  arm ;  if  he  has  none, 
put  it  under  the  left.  Tell  him  tliat  we  fear  the  information 
given  against  him  must  have  caused  him  some  annoyance. 
Beg  him,  as  soon  as  he  has  news  of  Produse,  to  tell  you  ;  and 


THE   NARRATIVE   OF   TURGY 

hand  the  information  on  to  us  by  means  of  the  signs  we 
agreed  upon. 

"  Could  you  not,  vf  anything  fresh  were  to  arise,  tell  it  to  us 
by  writing  with  lemon  juice  on  the  paper  stopper  of  the  bottle 
that  holds  the  cream,  or  else  wrap  it  up  in  a  pellet  and  throw  it 
to  my  sister  one  day  when  you  are  alone  with  her  ? 

"  Take  possession  of  the  paper  stoppers  in  the  bottles  whenever 
I  blow  my  nose  as  I  come  out  of  my  room  :  and  if  you  have 
got  them  lean  back  against  the  wall  as  I  pass,  lowering  your 
napkin  at  the  same  time.  If  what  I  ask  should  be  dangerous 
for  you,  let  me  know  by  passing  your  napkin  from  one  hand  to 
the  other. 

"  If  they  think  we  shall  still  be  here  in  the  month  of  August 
hold  the  napkin  in  your  hand.  We  hope  the  people  will  not 
worry  you  any  more.  Do  not  be  afraid  to  use  your  left  hand ; 
we  prefer  to  knozv  everything: 

"  If  the  Szviss  declare  war,  the  signal  is  to  be  one  Jinger 
under  tlw  chin.  If  the  troops  from  Nantes  reach  Orleans,  use 
two  fingers  when  tliey  are  there." 

During  the  month  of  June  the  woman  Tison  gave  signs  of 
mental  derangement.  She  was  always  sad,  and  sighed  like  a 
person  suffering  from  remorse.  Her  husband,  who  was  a 
brutal  man,  for  some  reason  obliged  her  to  bring  fresh 
charges  against  the  Queen  and  Madame  Elizabeth,  and  she 
accused  them  of  carrying  on  a  daily  correspondence  with  me. 
To  prove  her  statements  she  carried  down  to  the  Council 
Room  a  candlestick  that  she  had  taken  from  Madame 
Elizabeth's  room,  and  showed  the  commissioners  a  drop  of 
sealing  wax  that  had  fallen  on  the  socket.  It  was  quite  true 
that  on  that  very  morning  the  princess  had  given  me  a  sealed 
note  for  the  Abbe  Edgeworth  de  Firmont,  and  I  had  lost  no 
time  in  taking  it  to  Madame  la  Duchesse  de  Serent.  Her 
Royal  Highness  sealed  no  notes  but  those  for  this  venerable 
divine,  who  was  her  confessor.1 

On  returning  from  the  Council  the  woman  Tison  entered 
the  princesses1  room.  At  the  sight  of  the  Queen  she  became 

1  See  the  Mdmoires  of  the  Abbe  E.  de  Firmont,  3rd  edition,"  pages 
121-127. 

73 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

greatly  agitated,  and  flinging  herself  at  her  Majesty 's  feet, 
under  the  very  eyes  of  the  commissioners,  whose  presence  she 
entirely  disregarded,  she  cried:  "Madame,  I  entreat  your 
Majesty  to  forgive  me" — (those  were  the  words  she  used). 
"  I  am  a  miserable  woman  ;  I  am  responsible  for  your  death 
and  for  Madame  Elizabeth's.""  The  princesses  kindly  raised 
her  from  the  ground  and  tried  to  calm  her. 

A  moment  later  I  and  my  two  fellow-servants,  Chretien  and 
Marchand,  brought  in  the  dinner  for  the  royal  family,  accom- 
panied by  the  four  commissioners  on  duty.  The  woman  Tison 
threw  herself  on  her  knees  before  me,  saying :  "  M.  Turgy, 
I  ask  your  forgiveness.  I  am  a  miserable  woman.  I  have 
been  the  cause  of  the  Queen's  death  and  of  yours." 

Madame  Elizabeth  quickly  raised  her,  and  said :  u  Turgy, 
forgive  her."  I  had  the  honour  of  telling  her  Royal 
Highness  "  that  the  woman  Tison  had  done  nothing  to  offend 
me;  but  even  if  she  had  I  would  forgive  her  with  all 
my  heart."  The  woman  then  fell  into  fearful  convulsions  ; 
she  was  carried  into  a  room  in  the  Palace,  and  it  took  eight 
men  to  hold  her.  Two  days  later  she  was  removed  to  the 
Hotel-Dieu,  and  she  appeared  no  more  at  the  Temple.1 

M.  Follope,  the  municipal  officer  to  whom  the  woman 
Tison  had  made  her  statement,  had  told  me  of  everything 
that  she  had  laid  before  the  Council,  and  had  advised  me  not 
to  be  with  the  princesses  so  much,  so  as  not  to  confirm  the 
suspicions  of  the  other  commissioners  and  warders.  In  the 
evening  he  fortunately  succeeded  in  persuading  his  colleagues 
that  Madame  Tison's  accusation  and  the  scene  that  had  just 
taken  place  were  both  the  effect  of  the  unhappy  woman's 
madness.  He  threw  her  deposition  into  the  fire. 

That  was  certainly  one  of  the  days  when  I  was  most  afraid 

1  This  tragic  scene  must  have  taken  place  on  the  6th  July,  for  under 
date  of  the  8th,  tivo  days  later,  we  find  recorded  in  the  registers  of  the 
Hotel-Dieu  the  admittance  of  "  Anne  Victoire  Baudet,  wife  of  Tison, 
born  in  Paris  in  the  Parish  of  St.  Etienne-du-Mont."  She  left  the 
hospital  on  the  6th  Ventose,  year  III.  (24th  February,  1795),  and  was  still 
alive  at  the  end  of  the  year  VI.  Her  husband,  Pierre  Joseph  Tison,  born  at 
Valenciennes  in  1734,  remained  at  the  Temple  after  the  Queen's  death. 
He  was  still  there  in  July,  1795,  and  was  kept  there  almost  like  a  prisoner. 
He  left  only  on  the  death  of  the  "  child  of  the  Temple."  His  own  death 
is  recorded  as  taking  place  on  the  3rd  Nivose,  year  VI.  (23rd  December, 
1797),  at  No.  36,  Rue  de  Limoges,  Paris. 

74 


THE   NARRATIVE  OF  TURGY 

of  being  arrested :  afraid,  not  on  my  own  account,  for  I  was 
resigned,  but  because  my  arrest  would  have  deprived  the 
royal  family  of  every  means  of  correspondence,  and  of  their 
only  solace  in  the  weariness  and  torture  of  their  horrible 
imprisonment.  On  several  occasions  the  commissioners  had 
detected  the  signals  and  glances  that  were  exchanged  between 
the  princesses  and  myself,  and  had  tried  to  guess  their 
meaning,  making  desperate  efforts  to  find  out  to  what  they 
referred.  This  caused  us  the  most  painful  anxiety,  but  their 
attempts  were  always  in  vain.  One  day  Tison  made  off  with 
the  paper  stopper  of  a  bottle  ;  examined  it  carefully  ;  held  it 
up  to  the  light ;  then,  finding  nothing  on  it,  put  it  in  his 
pocket.  The  princesses  grew  pale  from  fear :  their  anxiety 
may  be  imagined !  But  either  because  Tison  lost  the  paper, 
or  because  he  did  not  know  how  to  make  the  writing  visible, 
this  was  a  false  alarm.  Strange  to  say,  not  one  of  our  notes 
was  ever  discovered  !  Every  day  I  thank  Heaven  for  it. 

The  warning  of  the  worthy  M.  Follope1  made  us  more 
cautious  than  ever.  It  was  not  till  two  days  later  that  the 
Queen,  when  returning  her  napkin  to  me,  succeeded  in 
slipping  into  my  hand  a  paper  on  which  her  Majesty  had 
written  these  questions : 

"  What  are  they  shouting  under  our  windows  ?  (Here  there 
are  some  words  that  have  become  illegible.)  Perhaps  my 
sister  will  ask  for  some  almond  milk.  Has  the  Commune  been 
reconstituted  ?  Is  the  woman  Tison  as  mad  as  they  say  ?  Do 
they  mean  to  replace  her  here  ?  Is  she  well  cared  for? 

Who  could  read  these  last  words  without  being  touched  ? 

It  was  at  this  time  that  I  informed  the  Queen  of  my  inten- 
tion of  begging  the  General  Council  of  the  Commune  to  allow 
me  to  be  shut  up  in  the  Tower,  so  that  I  might  devote  myself 
entirely  to  the  personal  service  of  the  princesses  and  spare 
them  many  very  irksome  cares.  Her  Majesty  answered : 

"  What  you  suggest  would  give  us  great  pleasure ;  but  it  is 
through  you  that  all  our  information  comes,  and  if  you  were 
shut  up,  we  should  in  future  be  entirely  in  the  dark.  If 

1  He  was  indicted  in  the  same  bill  as  Madame  Elizabeth,  and  died  with 
her  on  the  9th  May,  1794.—  (Note  by  Turgy.) 

75 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

anyone  should  come  to  take  us  away,  and  you  are  unable  to 
accompany  us,  come  and  join  us  wherever  we  may  be,  with 
your  wife,  your  son,  and  your  whole  family." 

The  circumstances  connected  with  Madame  Tison's  insanity 
had  greatly  impressed  her  husband.  The  kindness  shown  by 
the  Queen  and  the  princesses  to  this  woman  who  had  given 
them  so  many  reasons  for  complaint,  touched  the  gaoler  to 
such  a  degree  that  he  told  me  he  repented  of  his  conduct  in 
the  past,  and  desired  to  give  some  proof  of  his  sorrow.  This 
he  did  on  the  first  opportunity. 

When  the  young  King  came  to  the  dinner-table  he  was  given 
a  higher  seat  than  the  others,  a  seat  with  a  cushion  on  it.  One 
day,  this  seat  being  occupied  by  a  commissioner  called  Bernard, 
who  had  been  a  priest  at  the  Hospice  de  la  Pitie,  the  little 
King  was  seated  on  an  ordinary  chair.  He  was  so  low  that 
he  could  hardly  reach  the  food  on  his  plate  ;  but  no  one  dared 
to  disturb  Bernard,  who  was  noted  for  his  boorishness.  Tison 
came  into  the  room  ;  I  made  a  sign  to  him  ;  he  understood  it. 
Bringing  forward  another  chair,  he  asked  the  commissioner  to 
give  the  child  the  seat  he  generally  used.  Bernard  roughly 
refused,  saying,  in  the  hearing  of  the  Queen  and  the  princesses, 
"  I  never  saw  a  table  or  chair  given  to  prisoners ;  straw  is 
good  enough  for  them."  x 

Tison  offered  to  give  me  information  and  to  provide  me 
with  newspapers.  I  told  Madame  Elizabeth  of  all  this,  and 
she  soon  answered  as  follows  : 

"  Be  very  cautious  in  regard  to  Tison's  suggestion,  and  do 
not  let  your  zeal  lead  you  into  any  course  that  might  be 
dangerous  to  you  ;  and  if  you  agree,  let  it  be  only  after  making 
him  promise  the  most  absolute  secrecy.  Have  you  not  been 
forbidden  to  speak  to  Tison  ?  Think  over  that,  too.  Try  to 
find  out  whether  the  movements  of  the  enemy  are  to  be  directed 
against  my  companion  (the  Queen) ;  and  if  they  are  not  going 
to  remove  her  property  to  some  greater  distance  than  two 
leagues.  (There  was  some  question  of  taking  Louis  XVII. 
and  Madame  Royale  to  the  Chateau  of  Choisy-le-Roi.)  This 

1  Bernard  was  proscribed  as  an  accomplice  of  Robespierre,  and  executed 
on  the  29th  July,  1794  (llth  Thermidor,  year  II.).— (Note  by  Turgy.) 

76 


THE  NARRATIVE   OF  TURGY 

question  is  not  urgent.  It  was  Toulan  who  gave  us  the  news- 
paper of  which  I  spoke  yesterday.  The  way  you  serve  us  is 
our  one  comfort.  Ask  Madame  S.  (Serent)  for  an  answer 
about  Miranda? 

I  will  give  several  other  letters  written  by  Madame 
Elizabeth  between  the  early  days  of  July  and  the  end  of 
September. 

"  Yesterday  we  saw  a  newspaper  that  spoke  of  Saumur  and 
Angers  as  though  the  R.  (Republic)  were  still  in  possession  of 
them :  what  does  that  mean  ?  Is  Marat  really  dead  ?  Is 
there  much  excitement  about  it  ? 

"  Give  Fidele  this  note  from  us.  Tell  him — and  my  sister 
wishes  you  to  know — that  we  see  the  child  (Louis  XVII.)  every 
day  from  the  staircase  window :  but  that  need  not  prevent  you 
from  giving  us  news  of  him. 

"  Why  do  they  begin  beating  the  drums  at  six  o^clock  in  the 
morning?  Answer  this.  If  you  can,  without  compromising 
Madame  Serent  and  yourself,  write  to  her  for  me,  and  say  I 
beg  her  not  to  stay  in  Paris  on  my  account.  The  resolution 
passed  by  the  Cordeliers  against  the  nobles  makes  me  miserable 
on  her  account.  If  anything  happens  at  the  Federation 
Festival,  do  not  forget  to  tell  me  about  it." 

"  Here  is  a  note  for  Fidele.  Where  is  that  gentleman's 
command  ?  When  you  mention  a  fresh  name  to  me  tell  me 
where  the  person  lives,  for  I  do  not  know  any  of  those  gentle- 
men. I  have  nothing  left  now  but  the  gall-nut,  so  they  can 
search  if  they  like.  I  have  gradually  got  rid  of  all  you  have 
given  me.  I  asked  you  if  you  had  taken  the  same  precautions ; 
if  not,  do  so  ;  I  insist  upon  it :  it  is  necessary  for  the  safety  of 
that  person  (the  Queen)  and  for  yours." 

"  Is  there  any  truth  in  the  story  of  all  the  victories  they 
have  been  crying  in  the  streets  during  the  last  three  days  ?  " 

"  Tell  Fidele  how  much  his  last  note  touched  us.  We  did 
not  need  his  assurance  to  make  us  trust  him  completely  and  for 
ever.  His  signals  are  good.  (He  had  taken  a  room  in  a  house 
near  the  Temple  where  he  played  on  a  horn  various  airs  that 

77 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

conveyed  the  ideas  to  be  signalled.)  We  will  simply  say  :  Aux 
armes,  citoyens,  in  the  case  of  there  being  any  idea  of'  reuniting 
us,  but  we  much  fear  there  is  no  need  to  prepare  for  that 
contingency? 

"  If  you  wish  me  to  ask  for  some  almond  milk,  hold  your 
napkin  low  down  as  I  pass.  What  has  become  of  the  English 
Fleet  ?  (several  illegible  words)  and  of  my  Brothers  ?  Have 
we  a  fleet  in  any  sea  ?  What  do  you  mean  when  you  say  that 
all  is  going  well  ?  Do  you  mean  that  there  is  hope  of  the  end 
coming  soon,  of  a  change  of  popular  feeling,  or  that  everij- 
thing  is  going  smoothly  ?  Have  there  been  any  executions  of 
people  who  are  well  known  in  our  sense  of  the  word  ?  How 
are  Madame  S.  (Serent)  and  my  abbe  (M.  Edgeworth)  ?  Has 
he  by  any  chance  heard  anything  of  Madame  de  Bombelles, 
who  is  near  Saint-Gall,  in  Switzerland  ?  What  has  happened 
to  the  people  at  Saint-Cyr  ?  Tell  me  if  you  have  been  able  to 
read  all  this,  and  cover  the  bottle  with  paper  that  will  be  usefid 
to  us.  As  to  Fidele,  ask  him  if  Michonis  sees  my  sister  and  if 
there  is  no  one  but  Michonis  to  guard  her" 

"  What  you  tell  me  about  the  person  (the  Queen)  gives  me 
much  pleasure.  Is  it  the  gendarme  or  the  woman  who  sleeps  in 
her  room  ?  Would  it  be  possible  to  hear  from  the  woman  that 
Constant  (M.  Hue)  saw  anything  besides  news  of  what  she 
loves  ?  If  you  cannot  be  useful  to  her  here,  go  to  some  safe  place 
where  you  will  not  be  obliged  to  serve ; l  but  tell  me  where,  in 
case  we  have  need  of  you.  As  regards  myself  I  do  not  believe 
I  shall  be  exiled ;  but  if  I  am,  come  and  join  me,  unless  you  are 
necessary  to  the  person  (the  Queen).  /  cannot  believe  yet  that 
you  are  going.  Try  to  let  me  know  what  is  decided ;  and  if 
you  should  remain,  and  the  woman  Tison  should  come,  could 
you  throw  a  piece  of  paper  into  the  basket  or  else  put  it  into  a 
piece  of  bread  ?  Tell  me  if  it  is  through  Madame  S.  (Serent) 
that  you  have  news  of  a  Being  (the  Abbe  Edgeworth)  who, 
like  me,  knows  how  to  appreciate  those  wJw  are  faithful.  It  is 
with  much  regret  that  IJind  I  am  to  be  robbed  of  the  last  person 
of  that  kind  yet  left  to  me." 

1  This  referred  to  the  requisitions  of  troops. 

78 


THE  NARRATIVE   OF  TURGY 

"  Is  your  fate  decided  ?  Answer  this  question.  If  it  should 
be  necessary  for  us  to  have  your  note  without  delay,  lean 
against  the  wall  and  lower  your  napkin.  Tison  sometimes 
prevents  us  from  taking  it  at  once,  but  we  watch  him :  so  be 
easy.  Only  do  this  when  you  have  some  urgent  information  to 
give  us.  Who  is  the  municipal  officer  whom  they  suspect  of 
corresponding  with  us  ;  and  is  he  suspected  of  writing,  or  only 
of  giving  us  news  ?  Who  suggested  it  ?  Are  you  not  sus- 
pected at  all  ?  Be  very  carefuV 

In  the  course  of  September,  Hebert  and  the  commissioners  on 
duty  in  the  Temple  came  to  Madame  Elizabeth's  rooms  and 
notified  to  the  princesses  that  since  the  principle  of  equality 
ought  to  prevail  everywhere,  in  prisons  as  elsewhere,  they 
would  have  no  one  to  wait  on  them  in  future.  Soon  afterwards 
the  Council  drew  up  an  order  by  which  the  royal  prisoners 
were  limited  to  one  kind  of  food  at  each  meal. 

I  told  Madame  Elizabeth  of  this,  and  also  of  the  threats  to 
send  her  away,  which  were  repeated  every  day.  Her  Royal 
Highness  answered : 

"llth  October,  1793,  at  a  quarter  past  two. 

"  /  am  deeply  grieved.  Preserve  your  life  for  the  time  when 
we  shall  be  more  fortunate,  and  able  to  reward  you  ;  and  take 
away  with  you  the  comfort  of  having  given  faithful  service  to 
your  good  but  unhappy  master  and  mistress.  Impress  upon 
Fidcle  not  to  endanger  his  safety  too  much  by  our  signals  (on 
the  horn).  If  by  any  chance  you  should  see  Madame  Malle- 
main,  give  her  news  of  me,  and  tell  her  I  am  thinking  of  her. 
Farewell,  good  man  and  faithful  subject." 

"  I2th  October,  1793,  at  two  o'clock. 

"  My  little  girl  (Madame  Roy  ale)  declares  you  made  me  a 
sign  yesterday  morning ;  relieve  my  anxiety,  if  it  is  still  pos- 
sible. I  could  notjind  anything,  and  if  you  put  it  under  the 
bucket  it  may  have  been  washed  away  with  the  water,  and  will 
certainly  never  be  found.  If  there  is  any  thing  fresh  for  us,  let 
me  know  if  you  are  still  able  to  do  so.  Have  you  been  able  to 
read  the  second  little  paper,  in  which  I  spoke  to  you  of  Madame 

79 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

Mallemain,  one  of  my  women  ?  This  (a  note)  is  for  Fidele. 
Tell  him  that  I  have  no  doubt  as  to  his  sentiments.  I  thank 
him  for  the  news  he  gives  me,  and  am  much  distressed  at  what 
happened  to  him.1  Farewell,  good  man  and  faithful  subject. 
I  hope  that  the  God  to  whom  you  have  been  faithful  will 
support  you,  and  will  comfort  you  in  all  you  have  to  endure" 

On  that  day,  the  12th,  the  commissioners  of  the  Temple 
made  us  carry  up  Madame  Royale's  dinner  as  usual,  but  they 
would  not  let  us  lay  the  table.  They  gave  each  of  the  pri- 
soners a  plate,  in  which  they  put  some  soup  and  a  piece  of 
beef,  with  a  bit  of  coarse  bread  beside  it.  They  gave  them 
a  tin  spoon,  an  iron  fork,  and  a  knife  with  a  black  wooden 
handle ;  and  a  bottle  of  wine  from  the  tavern. 

The  commissioners  then  ate  the  dinner  prepared  for  the 
royal  prisoners. 

It  was  thus  that  the  scoundrels  began  to  carry  out  their 
odious  order,  and  it  was  thus  that  the  princesses  were  treated 
throughout  the  rest  of  their  imprisonment. 

On  the  following  day,  the  13th  October,  at  six  o'clock  in 
the  morning,  the  municipal  officers  notified  to  me  that  I  was 
to  leave  the  Temple  instantly.  I  and  my  good  comrades, 
Chretien  and  Marchand.  went  away  heart-broken  by  what  we 
had  seen,  and  full  of  fears  for  the  future  of  our  august  and 
unhappy  employers. 

I  joined  my  family  at  Tournan-en-Brie.  At  first  I  suffered 
a  good  deal  of  persecution,  but  little  by  little  it  ceased,  and  I 
was  allowed  to  live  in  peace. 

1  He  had  been  arrested,  but  had  escaped.  —(Note  by  Turgy.) 


80 


PRINCESS   MARIA   CHARLOTTE   THERESA. 

From  a  miniature  made  at  Basle  in  1795. 


THE  NARRATIVE  OF 
TOWN-COUNCILLOR  GORET 

"Charles  Goret,  formerly  Inspector  of  Market  Supplies, 
municipal  officer,  residing  at  No.  25,  Rue  de  Bievre." 

Such  is  the  information  supplied  by  the  National  Almanach  of 
1793,  and  it  is  nearly  all  we  know  about  this  individual.  We 
will  only  add  that  at  the  time  of  the  9th  Thermidor  Goret  had  a 
post  as  agent  to  the  Minister  of  the  Interior,  and  to  the  Com- 
mission for  Supplying  the  Town  of  Paris  with  Provisions.  His 
narrative  appeared  during  the  early  months  of  the  Restoration, 
and  was  entitled  :  My  testimony  with  regard  to  the  confinement  of 
Louis  X  VI.  and  his  family  in  the  Temple  Tower. 

I  was  a  member  of  the  famous  Commune  of  August  10th, 
1792.  It  may  seem  strange  that  I  owed  my  appointment  to 
this  post,  which  was  fraught  with  so  much  danger,  to  the 
famous  Abbe  Delille  and  several  of  his  colleagues,  professors 
at  the  College  de  France,  to  whom  I  had  the  honour  of  being 
known.  They  sent  for  me  to  my  own  house  on  the  morning 
of  August  10th,  and  on  my  joining  them  employed  all  their 
influence  to  persuade  me  to  fill  this  post  in  the  place  of  their 
colleague  the  Abbe  Cournaud,  who  had  been  nominated 
during  the  preceding  night  by  the  Section  of  Sainte-Gene- 
vieve,  now  the  Section  of  the  Pantheon.  •  In  vain  I  resisted : 
I  was  obliged  to  yield ;  and  those  same  gentlemen,  who  were 
not  without  influence  in  the  section,  immediately  saw  that  my 
name  was  substituted  for  that  of  M.  Cournaud.  When  they 
gave  me  the  nomination  paper,  they  said  to  me :  "  We  know 
you,  and  we  hope  you  will  fulfil  the  duties  of  this  office  in 
accordance  with  our  wishes."  I  do  not  think  I  betrayed 
their  hopes. 

81  G 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

About  nine  or  ten  o'clock  in  the  morning  of  the  10th 
August,  then,  I  found  myself  on  a  bench  of  the  General 
Council  of  the  Commune.  It  is  needless  to  record  here  what 
took  place  during  the  most  stormy  moments  of  that  body's 
existence :  there  were  witnesses  enough.  It  was  thence  that 
I  was  sent,  as  a  member  of  the  General  Council,  to  guard  the 
royal  prisoners,  a  few  days  after  their  arrival  at  the  Temple. 
They  were  then  in  the  building  adjoining  the  Tower,1  and 
had  a  staircase  connected  with  the  staircase  of  the  Tower. 
There  were  four  or  five  little  rooms,  which  were  not  very 
habitable,  for  they  contained  no  furniture  that  was  not 
strictly  necessary.  They  were  only  about  fifteen  or  sixteen 
feet  above  the  ground,  and  the  windows  were  not  barred. 
Later  on  I  will  return  to  this  subject. 

I  entered  the  room  in  which  the  royal  family  were  all 
sitting  together.  My  orders  were  to  keep  my  hat  on  my 
head  when  I  went  in,  but  I  began  by  disobeying  that  order. 
I  was  also  told  to  address  the  King  simply  as  Monsieur,  and 
I  had  heard  that  this  did  not  disturb  him  in  the  least,  but 
that  he  was  obviously  annoyed  when  addressed  as  Capet. 
This  name,  therefore,  never  once  left  my  lips  in  his  presence. 
At  this  time  he  was  still  wearing  his  orders,  of  which  he  was 
deprived  later  on.  When  I  entered  he  was  playing  chess 
with  his  sister  Madame  Elizabeth,  and  I  sat  down  at  the  back 
of  the  room,  the  ceiling  of  which  was  nearly  as  low  as  that 
of  an  entresol.  This  made  the  room  rather  dark.  To  save 
myself  from  embarrassment  I  had  taken  a  book  from  a  little 
bookcase  2  that  was  there,  as  though  I  intended  to  read  ;  and 
a  moment  later  the  Queen,  who  was  near  the  window, 
watching  the  game  with  her  children,  spoke  to  me  very 
pleasantly.  "  Come  over  here,  monsieur,"  she  said ;  "  where 
we  are  you  will  see  better  to  read."  I  thanked  her,  observing 
that  I  cared  little  about  the  book,  without  saying  more  ;  but 

1  That  is  to  say,  in  the  Little  Tower.     (See  plan  A. ) 

2  At  the  very  beginning  of  his  confinement  the  King  had  asked  for  books. 
He  read  a  great  deal  to  himself  and  a  little  to  his  son,  whose  education  he 
undertook.     It  has  been  calculated  that  between  the  13th  August,  1792, 
and  the  21st  January,   1793,  he  read  257  volumes.     The  ladies  had  also 
asked  for  books  :  the  Thousand  and  One  Nights,   the  romances  of  Cecilia, 
Evelina,  etc.    (See  Papiers  du  Temple,  by  M.  la  Morinerie,  Nouvelle  Revue 
of  April  1st,  1884.) 


THE  NARRATIVE   OF  GORET 

the  truth  is  that  I  should  have  been  afraid  to  be  seen  accepting 
the  Queen's  suggestion,  for  I  knew  that  the  National  Guards 
on  watch  at  the  door  could  look  through  the  key-hole  and 
see  all  that  went  on  in  the  room.  Various  people  had  already 
been  seriously  compromised  with  the  General  Council  by 
reports  from  that  quarter.  Madame  Elizabeth,  though 
engaged  in  her  game  with  the  King,  seemed  amused  at  my 
embarrassment,  which  was  after  all  very  natural  in  any  novice 
who  was  at  all  capable  of  reflecting  on  the  vicissitudes  of 
life.  "  There,"  I  said  to  myself,  "  is  a  family  whom  I  have 
seen  at  the  very  zenith  of  power  and  splendour  and  honour, 
confined  now  in  this  humble,  gloomy  lodging,  while  I  am  not 
even  allowed  to  show  them  the  least  attention ;  whereas 
formerly  I  should  have  considered  myself  greatly  honoured  and 
very  fortunate  if  they  had  graciously  accepted  my  homage." 

It  seemed  to  me  that  Madame  Elizabeth  read  my  thoughts, 
especially  when  she  said  :  "  Come,  your  Majesty, be  off ! "  allud- 
ing to  the  chessman  known  as  the  king.  Soon  the  King  rose 
from  his  seat,  and  came  over  to  tell  me  that  they  were  in  the 
habit  of  going  out  to  walk  about  in  the  shade  of  the  garden, 
and  that  it  was  necessary  to  obtain  permission  from  the 
Council  in  residence  at  the  Temple.  I  instantly  sent  to  ask 
for  this  permission  from  my  colleagues  of  the  Council ;  and 
as  soon  as  it  was  secured  we  prepared  to  go  out. 

Madame  Elizabeth  came  up  to  me,  saying :  "  As  this  is  the 
first  time  you  have  been  here,  monsieur,  perhaps  you  do  not 
know  the  correct  rules  of  precedence.  I  will  teach  them  to 
you.  You  lead  the  way,  and  we  will  follow  you."  I  obeyed 
the  instructions  of  the  august  mistress  of  the  ceremonies, 
and  we  set  off.  When  we  reached  the  foot  of  the  staircase 
the  sentry  who  was  on  guard  there  asked  me  if  he  should 
present  arms.  I  answered  simply:  "You  ought  to  know 
what  your  orders  are,"  and  as  I  passed  on  at  once  I  could 
not  see  what  he  decided  to  do. 

As  soon  as  we  were  in  the  shade  the  King  and  Clery,  the 
valet  de  chambre,  amused  themselves  by  giving  the  young 
prince  some  exercise  with  a  little  ball.1  The  Queen  sat  down 

1  In  the  Daily  Record  of  Demands  made  on  behalf  of  the  King  and  His 
Family\in  the  Temple,  after  the  5th  September,  1792,  by  Cttry,  valet  de  chambre 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

on  a  bench,  with  the  princesses,  her  daughter  and  Madame 
Elizabeth,  on  her  right  hand.  I  was  on  the  left.  She 
opened  the  conversation  by  pointing  to  the  Tower,1  which 
faced  us,  and  asking  me  what  I  thought  of  it.  "  Alas, 

of  the  Prince  Royal  in  the  King's  Employ ',  we  find  this  entry  :  "  For  the 
Prince  Royal,  two  rather  large  balls. "  (See  Papier s  du  Temple ,  by  M.  la 
Morinerie,  Nouvelle  Revue  of  April  1st,  1884.) 

1  In  La  Maison  du  Temple  de  Paris,  by  Henri  de  Curzon,  we  may  read 
the  following  detailed  account  of  the  four-hundred-year-old  dungeon  that 
served  as  a  prison  for  the  royal  family. 

"  There  is  every  reason  to  believe  that  this  formidable  witness  to  the 
greatness  of  the  Templars  remained  absolutely  unchanged  from  the  time 
of  its  foundation  to  the  day  it  was  destroyed,  and  that  it  might  yet  have 
stood  against  the  assaults  of  several  centuries.  It  was,  indeed,  so  solidly 
built  that  no  record  of  any  restoration  or  repairs,  except  of  the  roof,  was 
ever  entered  in  the  account  books. 

"  A  fortress  such  as  this,  one  would  think,  was  destined  to  repel  many 
a  violent  assault,  for  the  Templars  built  it  with  as  much  care  as  they  had 
expended  on  any  of  their  castles  in  the  East,  which  were  so  often  besieged. 
In  France,  however,  their  castle  was  never  to  be  more  than  a  witness,  a 
symbol,  a  guarantee  of  the  feudal  power  and  authority  of  their  Order  ; 
for  the  Temple  Prison  had  no  history  ;  it  was  never  put  to  the  test,  so  to 
speak,  till  the  day  when  it  was  demolished  by  the  workman's  hammer. 

' '  We  should  be  wrong,  however,  to  pass  it  by  without  a  close  inspection, 
for  it  is  of  a  rare  type  ;  unique,  perhaps,  in  its  simplicity,  and  at  the  same 
time  both  robust  and  graceful.  We  will  try  to  depict  it  as  completely  as 
possible,  with  the  help  of  original  documents. 

"  The  materials  had  been  very  carefully  chosen.  The  Report  of  the 
Official  Inspection  of  Ancient  Buildings,  drawn  up  by  Colbert's  orders  in 
1678,  describes  it  as  being  :  '  du  haut  ban  franc  et  liais  du  faubourg  Saint 
Jacques  et  du  Mont  Sourish 

"  The  Visitation  of  1495  describes  it  thus.  '  C'est  une  grosse  tour  de 
pierre  taillee  qarte,  et  a  chascun  quanton  une  tourelle  de  mesmes,  prime 
de  pie  jusques  au  feste.  Et  toutes  cincq  sont  convertez  de  plombz  et 
vousteez  de  quatre  estaiges;  et  dedans  icelle  a  puys,  cave,  four,  mollin  et 
chappelle,  le  tout  lien  entretenu.  Lesquettes  tours  souloyent  estre  environneez 
de  fossez  a  fons  de  cuve,  plains  d'eauive,  et  a  pons-levis,  qui  estait  forte 
chose;  mais  on  a  este  contrainct,  du  temps  des  Templiers,  de  les  combler, 
et  a  present,  n'y  a  point.'  This  description,  the  oldest  we  have  been  able 
to  find,  was  still  accurate  at  the  beginning  of  this  century.  We  will  add 
the  correct  figures,  and  make  them  more  complete  by  giving  some  account 
of  the  interior. 

"  The  height  of  the  Great  Tower  included  four  storeys  and  a  loft  under 
the  roof,  without  counting  the  cellar,  which,  with  the  well,  seems  to  have 
been  no  longer  in  existence  at  the  time  of  the  Revolution. 

"At  that  time  the  total  height  was  about  50  metres;  of  which  7 
metres  were  occupied  by  the  first  storey  (which  had  become  the  ground 
floor  by  the  gradual  rising  of  the  soil) ;  6m.  50  by  the  second  storey ;  6 
metres  by  the  third  ;  4m.  50  by  the  fourth  ;  and  15  metres  by  the 
pyramidal  roof.  The  turrets  only  measured  45  metres. 

"  The  openings  for  the  well  and  for  the  cellar- stairs— built  in  the  thick- 
ness of  the  walls — were  on  the  first  floor,  as  was  the  case  in  most  mediaeval 
dungeons.  The  Tower  was  mentioned  again  in  the  Visitation  of  1662,  as 
well  as  in  that  of  1756." 

84 


THE   TEMPLE   TOWER   IN   SEPTEMBER,   1792. 

From  an  original  sketch  by  Lequeux,  National  Guard. 
(Bibliotheque  Nationale.) 


THE  NARRATIVE  OF   GORET 

madame,"  I  answered,  "  there  is  no  such  thing  as  a  beautiful 
prison  !  This  one  reminds  me  of  another  that  I  saw  when 
I  was  young,  the  one  in  which  Gabrielle  de  Vergy  was  im- 
prisoned." "  What ! "  replied  the  Queen,  "  you  have  seen  that 
other  prison  ?  "  "  Yes,  madame,"  I  answered.  "  It  is  a  still 
larger  tower  than  this  one  that  we  are  looking  at,  and  it  is 
situated  at  Couci-le-Chateau,  where  I  lived  when  I  was 
young."  The  Queen  immediately  called  her  husband,  who 
joined  us,  and  when  she  had  told  him  what  I  had  just  said 
the  King  asked  me  for  various  details  about  the  tower  in 
question.  I  told  him  what  I  had  noticed  there,  and  he  seemed 
satisfied,  giving  us  at  the  same  time  a  geographical  description 
of  Couci-le-Chateau,  as  though  he  were  an  expert  in  geo- 
graphy ;  and  indeed  it  is  well  known  that  his  knowledge  of 
that  science  was  profound. 

We  remained  out  of  doors  for  an  hour  or  two,  after  which 
the  royal  family  expressed  a  wish  to  go  in,  whereupon 
followed  the  same  ceremonial  as  before.  The  King  retired 
to  his  own  room,  and  the  princesses  with  the  children  to 
theirs,  and  I  remained  alone  in  the  outer  room,  which  served 
as  a  little  salon  where  the  family  might  meet  for  conver- 
sation or  games.  Madame  Elizabeth  was  the  first  to  enter. 
She  came  and  leant  against  the  back  of  my  seat,  and  began 
to  sing  a  little  song ;  and  on  her  niece  entering  the  room 
almost  immediately  afterwards  she  asked  her  to  sing  too. 
The  young  princess  refused  obstinately,  with  childish  airs 
and  graces,  which  I  attributed  to  her  sense  of  dignity  or 
to  her  incomplete  realisation  of  the  position  she  was  in,  of 
which  her  aunt  was  more  conscious.  The  Queen  entered  at 
this  moment,  and  Madame  Elizabeth  told  her  of  the  rebuff 
she  had  received  at  the  hands  of  the  young  princess.  "  Your 
daughter  Hvill  be  obstinate,"  she  said,  "  very  obstinate 
indeed,  I  assure  you,  sister."  It  seemed  to  me  that  Madame 
Elizabeth  was  rather  nettled  by  this  refusal  from  her  niece, 
with  whom  she  then  went  out  of  the  room.  The  Queen  was 
left  alone  with  me.  She  took  from  a  little  cabinet  a  handful 
of  twists  of  paper,  which  she  came  and  unfolded  before  me, 
saying,  "This  is  my  children's  hair — at  such-and-such  an 
age."  I  noticed  that  all  the  pieces  of  hair  were  more  or  less 

85 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

fair.  The  Queen  returned  them  to  the  place  she  had  taken 
them  from,  and  then  came  back  to  me,  rubbing  her  hands 
with  scent  and  waving  them  near  my  face  so  that  I  might 
smell  the  scent,  which  was  very  sweet.1 

The  King  had  remained  in  his  room.  The  valet  de  chambre 
came  to  announce  that  dinner  was  ready,  and  we  all 
proceeded  to  the  room  that  served  as  a  dining-room.  The 
meal  was,  I  might  almost  say,  sumptuous.  The  King  sat  in 
the  middle,  with  the  princesses  and  the  children  at  each  side ; 
while  I  sat  at  a  little  distance  from  the  table,  still  disobeying 
the  order  that  bade  me  keep  my  head  covered.  I  simply 
wore  my  scarf.  The  whole  family  struck  me  as  eating 
heartily,  with  the  same  air  of  serenity  that  they  wore  at 
Versailles  during  a  public  dinner,  when  they  were  surrounded 
by  everything  that  could  enhance  their  dignity  and  ensure 
their  safety.  Their  conversation  during  this  meal  was 
confined  to  indifferent  subjects. 

The  reader  must  not  be  too  much  surprised  at  my  saying 
that  the  meal  was  sumptuous : 2  it  is  but  the  truth ;  and  all 

1  "  Bought  for  Louis  XVI."  at  the  Tower,  some  tea,  some  eau  de  Cologne 
and  some  eau  de  milice  (sic). — (Papiers  du  Temple,  by  M.  la  Morinerie, 
Nouvelle  Revue  of  April  1st,  1884.) 

2  The  following  note,  dating  from  the  early  days  of  September,  will  not 
be  without  interest. 

"According  to  the  report  drawn  up,  and  heard  with  much  interest  by 
the  Commune,  Louis  XVI.  and  his  family  have  in  the  Temple  twelve 
domestics  connected  with  the  culinary  department :  a  head  cook,  a  plain 
cook,  an  assistant  cook,  a  scullion,  a  turnspit,  a  steward,  an  assistant,  a 
boy,  a  keeper-of-the-plate,  and  three  waiters. 

"  Breakfast.  In  the  morning  the  steward  provides  for  breakfast  seven 
cups  of  coffee,  six  of  chocolate,  a  coffee-pot  of  double  cream,  a  decanter  of 
cold  syrup,  another  of  barley  water,  three  pats  of  butter,  a  plate  of  fruit, 
six  rolls,  three  loaves,  a  sugar  basin  of  powdered  sugar,  another  of  loaf 
sugar,  a  salt  cellar. 

' '  Not  all  of  this  is  consumed  by  the  prisoners.  The  remains  are  devoted 
to  the  use  of  three  persons  who  wait  upon  them  in  the  Tower,  and  of  the 
twelve  domestics  mentioned  above. 

"Dinner.  For  dinner  the  head  cook  provides  three  soups  and  two 
courses,  consisting,  on  days  that  are  not  fast-days,  of  four  entrees,  two 
dishes  of  roast  meat,  each  containing  three  joints,  and  four  entremets  ; 
and  on  fast-days,  of  four  entrees,  at  least  three  of  them,  and  perhaps  all, 
being  of  meat,  two  roasts,  four  or  five  entremets.  Dessert. — The  steward 
generally  adds  by  way  of  dessert  a  plate  of  pears,  three  compotes,  three 
plates  of  fruit,  three  pats  of  butter,  two  kinds  of  sugar,  a  bottle  of  oil,  a 
bottle  of  Champagne,  a  little  decanter  of  Bordeaux,  another  of  Malvoisie, 
another  of  Madeira,  and  seven  rolls. 

"  For  those  who  dine  on  what  is  left,  a  two-pound  loaf  and  two  bottles 
of  vin  ordinaire  are  added. 

86 


THE   NARRATIVE   OF  GORET 

the  meals  were  equally  so  throughout  the  time  that  I  was 
fulfilling  my  painful  functions  at  the  Temple,  that  is  to  say, 
till  about  the  month  of  April,  1793.  This  is  not  so  surpris- 
ing when  one  learns  that  the  heads  of  the  kitchen  department 

"  Supper  consists  of  three  soups  and  three  courses.  On  days  that  are 
not  fast-days  they  are  composed  of  two  entrees,  two  roasts,  and  four  or  five 
entremets  ;  on  fast-days  of  four  entries  not  made  of  meat,  two  or  three  of 
meat,  two  roasts,  and  four  entremets.  Dessert,  the  same  as  for  dinner, 
except  as  regards  coffee. 

"  Louis  XVI. 's  son  generally  has  a  little  supper  separately. 

"  The  increase  of  the  number  of  dishes  at  dinner  and  supper  on  fast- 
days  arises  from  the  fact  that  Louis  XVI.  fasts  regularly  on  the  days 
prescribed  by  the  Church,  while  his  companions  do  not.  He  alone  drinks 
wine  ;  the  others  only  drink  water. 

"  What  is  left  over  is  first  given  to  the  three  servants  in  the  Tower, 
who  hand  on  the  remainder  to  the  servants  in  the  kitchen  and  pantry. 
One  or  two  dishes  are  added,  with  bread  and  wine. 

"  During  the  first  twenty  days  the  baker  supplied  bread  to  the  value  of 
100  livres,  at  4  or  5  sous  a  pound.  The  butcher  furnished  about  100 
Ibs.  of  meat  a  day,  at  13  sous  a  pound.  The  pork-butcher  supplied 
about  25  Ibs.  of  bacon  a  day  at  16  sous  a  pound.  Between  the  16th  August 
and  the  9th  September  fowls  to  the  value  of  1,544  livres,  15  sous  were  sup- 
plied, that  is  to  say,  56  Ibs.  weight  a  day.  The  consumption  of  fish — includ- 
ing both  sea  and  river  fish— varied  from  9  to  10  Ibs.  a  day.  At  the  same 
period  a  fruiterer  sent  in  a  bill  for  vegetables  which  only  amounted  to 
4  livres  ;  but  at  that  time  and  till  the  end  of  October  a  messenger  from 
Versailles  was  bringing  vegetables  from  the  palace  gardens  to  the  amount 
of  15  Ibs.  a  load.  The  same  fruiterer  supplied,  between  the  13th  and  the 
31st  August,  fruit  to  the  value  of  1,000  livres,  including  83  baskets  of 
peaches  for  425  livres. 

"  Of  butter,  eggs,  and  milk  the  quantity  used  was  about  40  Ibs.  a  day  : 
and,  during  the  first  27  days,  428  Ibs.  of  butter,  160  small  pats  of  butter, 
2, 152  eggs,  some  absolutely  new-laid  and  some  laid  any  time  within  the 
week,  111  pints  of  cream,  both  double  and  single,  41  pints  of  milk,  228 
bottles  of  Champagne  and  vin  ordinaire.  Several  bottles  of  it  came  from 
the  cellars  of  the  ci-devant  King.  A  water-carrier  supplied  water  to  the 
value  of  4  livres  a  day. 

"During  the  same  period  1,516  livres'  worth  of  wood,  245£»wes'  worth  of 
coal,  and  400  livres'  worth  of  candles  were  supplied." 

This  report  to  the  Commune  was  printed  in  the  form  of  a  placard,  and 
sold  in  Paris,  with  the  following  sensational  heading : 

A  very  strange  Report,  laid  before  the  Commune  of  Paris,  on  the  enormous 
expenses  of  the  prisoners  in  the  Temple. 

Do  not  be  surprised,  Citizens,  if  food  becomes  dearer.  The  cannibals  of 
the  Temple  Toiver,  whom  you  imagine  are  being  treated  like  prisoners,  only 
consume  about  one  hundred  pounds  of  beef  and  twenty-Jive  pounds  of  bacon 
a  day,  and  during  twenty-five  days  have  only  eaten  fowls  to  the  value  of  one 
thousand  five  hundred  and  forty -four  livres,  fifteen  sous.  See  the  following 
Report  to  the  Commune. 

The  enemies  of  royalty  still  contrived  to  make  the  prisoners  of  the 
Temple  responsible  for  the  general  famine  ! 

We  will  add,  quoting  M.  de  Vyre's  Histoire  de  Marie  Antoinette,  that 
the  plate  of  the  prisoners  comprised  one  silver  soup-tureen,  eighteen  spoons 
and  forks,  one  gravy-spoon,  one  soup-ladle,  eight  coffee -spoons,  two  coffee- 
pots, and  twelve  knives. 

87 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

at  the  Temple  had  formerly  been  employed  at  Versailles  in 
the  same  capacity ;  and  the  Committee  formed  by  the  General 
Council  took  care  that  nothing  was  wanting  in  this  connec- 
tion— so  much  so,  indeed,  that  the  expenses  of  the  depart- 
ment amounted  to  more  than  80,000  francs  a  month.1 
These  expenses,  it  is  true,  included  those  of  all  the  people 
officially  employed  in  the  Temple,  who  had  their  meals 
there.  There  was  also  a  special  table  for  those  members  of 
the  General  Council  who  were  on  duty,  usually  amounting  to 
twelve  or  fifteen,  and  for  some  of  the  officers  on  the  staff*  of 
the  National  Guard.  The  morning  and  evening  meals  were 
no  less  unexceptionable. 

When  it  was  time  to  retire  to  rest  the  princesses  and  the 
children  went  to  their  room,  after  first  showing  their  affec- 
tion for  the  King,  with  every  mark  of  tenderness  and  respect. 

The  King,  accompanied  by  Clery,  entered  his  bedroom, 
whither  I  followed  them.  While  Clery  was  making  every- 
thing ready  for  his  master,  the  latter  went  into  a  little  turret 
that  adjoined  his  room,  to  say  his  prayers.  I  accompanied 
him,  but  as  the  place  measured  about  four  feet  in  diameter  it 
was  too  small  to  hold  two  people  without  inconvenience. 
The  King  drew  my  attention  to  this  fact,  and  then  proceeded 
to  read  his  prayers  from  a  breviary,  having  placed  in  my 
hands  a  book  that  I  recognised  as  the  Imitation  of  Jesus 
Christ.  I  saw  that  this  constraint  disturbed  the  King,  for 
he  added :  "  I  shall  not  run  away  :  do  not  be  afraid,""  and 
I  therefore  retired  to  the  other  room,  whither  his  Majesty 
returned  when  he  had  finished  saying  his  prayers.  He 
undressed  with  Clery's  help,  and  went  to  bed.  I  remained  in 
this  room  alone  with  the  King.  I  threw  myself,  without 
undressing,  upon  a  sofa,  in  the  hope  of  obtaining  a  little  rest ; 
but  this  I  found  impossible,  for  no  sooner  did  the  King  lie 
down  than  he  fell  into  a  sleep  that  not  only  appeared  to  be 
profound,  but  was  accompanied  by  continuous  and  truly 
remarkable  snoring. 

1  At  the  Sitting  of  the  12th  August  the  Legislative  Assembly  had  decreed 
that  a  sum  of  500,000  livres  should  be  granted  to  the  King  for  the  expenses 
of  his  household  until  the  meeting  of  the  National  Convention.  This  sum 
was  to  be  paid  in  amounts  of  one-eighth  of  the  total.  Apparently  only 
the  first  eighth  was  paid  to  Louis  XVI. 

88 


J.    B.    CLERY. 


THE  NARRATIVE   OF   GORET 

In  the  morning  when  the  King  rose  I  was  relieved  from 
my  guard  by  one  of  my  colleagues.  He,  and  those  who 
came  after  him,  no  doubt  saw  the  same  things  that  I  had 
seen,  or  things  very  similar.  An  account  of  one  of  these 
days,  therefore,  that  were  so  painful  to  me,  may  serve  as  an 
example  of  all  the  days  that  my  colleagues  spent  in  this 
place,  which  the  royal  family  only  occupied  while  prepara- 
tions were  being  made  in  the  Tower,  whither,  as  soon  as  it 
was  ready,  they  were  removed.  But  I  am  not  prepared  to 
say  that  all  those  of  my  colleagues  who  filled  this  office 
behaved  exactly  as  I  did. 

The  General  Council  of  the  Commune,  as  everyone  knows, 
was  composed  of  a  great  number  of  men  of  all  classes. 
There  were  men  of  science  in  it,  men  of  letters,  artists  and  men 
of  business,  merchants  and  artisans,  from  the  shoemaker  to 
the  stone-cutter ;  and  among  these  it  was  very  natural  that 
there  should  be  some  whose  want  of  education  made  them 
little  suited  to  fill  this  office  worthily,  though  they  filled  it, 
nevertheless,  whenever  their  turn  came  or  the  lot  fell  on 
them. 

No  doubt  the  royal  family  could  detect  at  a  glance  whether 
those  who  came  among  them  were  capable  of  being  moved 
by  the  feelings  that  their  presence  and  situation  ought  to 
have  inspired,  and  regulated  their  conduct  accordingly. 

I  will  now  describe  what  I  saw  and  heard  in  the  Tower, 
after  the  royal  family  had  been  removed  thither.1  There  is 
no  need  for  me  to  say  that  there  was  someting  sinister  about 
the  appearance  of  this  place,  for  there  are  various  histories 
of  Paris  that  describe  it.  It  was,  in  a  word,  a  monument  to 
the  power  and  despotism  of  the  Templars,  such  power  and 
despotism  as  the  Jesuits  may  have  exercised  in  Paraguay 
when  they  ruled  there.  The  storey  on  which  the  royal  family 
were  lodged  was  raised  very  high  above  the  ground,  beyond 
the  reach  of  any  escalade :  the  first  door,  on  the  ground 
floor,  was  of  oak,  about  six  or  eight  inches  in  thickness,  and 
was  strengthened  with  strong  iron  bands,  iron  locks,  and 
enormous  bolts  on  the  inside.  The  staircase  was  narrow, 
and  upon  it  several  other  doors  had  been  put  up,  of  which 

1  The  26th  October,  1792. 
89 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

the  last  was  the  entrance  door  to  the  rooms  in  which  the 
royal  family  were  confined.  This  last  door  was  of  massive 
iron,  and  was  furnished  with  strong  locks  and  with  very 
strong  bolts  on  the  inside :  it  was  about  an  inch  thick. 
Outside  it  there  was  a  landing  so  small  that  it  would  not 
have  given  any  foothold  for  an  attack  on  the  door. 

The  first  time  I  went  into  this  new  prison  the  Queen, 
recognising  me,  came  up  to  me  and  said,  "  We  are  very  glad 
to  see  you."  This  place  had  been  newly  decorated,  if  one 
may  use  such  an  expression  in  regard  to  a  prison.  The  outer 
room,  in  which  my  colleagues  and  I  sat — for  at  that  time 
there  were  often  at  least  two  of  us  on  guard — was  hung  with 
a  paper  intended  to  represent  architecture.  It  opened  into  a 
little  dining-room  and  into  the  room  occupied  by  the  King, 
where  we  did  not  remain  during  the  night.  Next  to  the 
latter  was  the  room  occupied  by  the  princesses  and  the 
children,  beyond  which  was  Clery's  room.  All  these  places 
were  nicely  decorated  and  furnished.  The  windows,  whose 
embrasures  measured  about  six  feet  in  depth,  were  furnished 
with  strong  iron  bars,  and  had  screens  outside  them,  so  that 
it  was  impossible  to  see  the  interior  of  the  prison  from  any  of 
the  high  buildings  outside.  The  King  and  his  family  had 
lost  much  of  the  serenity  that  I  had  formerly  observed  in 
them :  the  King  walked  to  and  fro,  and  wandered  from  his 
own  room  into  the  outer  one  where  we  were  sitting.  Some- 
times he  glanced  at  the  upper  part  of  the  window,  and  asked 
what  the  weather  was  like  ;  I  have  seen  him,  too,  looking  at 
a  large  board  that  hung  on  the  wall  of  this  same  room  with 
the  Rights  of  Man  inscribed  upon  it.  The  King,  having  read 
what  was  on  the  board,  said  :  "  That  would  be  very  fine  if  it 
were  practicable."  The  Queen  sat  in  her  room  more  quietly, 
but  Madame  Elizabeth  walked  to  and  fro  like  the  King,  and 
often  had  a  book  in  her  hand.  The  children  came  and  went 
in  the  same  way  ;  and  the  appearance  and  behaviour  of  the 
whole  family  was  very  different  from  what  I  had  observed 
before  they  were  moved  to  their  present  quarters.  Every- 
thing seemed  to  foretell  the  still  greater  misfortunes  that  we 
witnessed  later  on.  The  father,  wife,  and  sister  were  much 
seldomer  together,  and  conversed  much  less  frequently.  It 

90 


THE  NARRATIVE   OF   GORET 

^^ 

seemed  as  though  they  feared  to  aggravate  their  ills  by 
speaking  of  them ;  and  this  is  the  saddest  of  all  states,  to 
be  beyond  the  reach  of  consolation.  The  children  had  lost 
the  playfulness  they  had  hitherto  preserved.  In  a  word, 
everything  reflected  the  gloom  that  had  been  cast  over  this 
place  by  preventing  the  light  from  entering  except  through 
the  top  of  the  windows. 

Who  was  it  that  prompted  all  these  precautions,  of  which 
some  were  probably  unnecessary  ?  I  do  not  know.  I  heard 
no  discussion  on  the  subject  in  the  General  Council,  and  I 
have  always  believed  that  some  secret  and  powerful  faction 
carried  out  these  measures  in  spite  of  the  Council,  and  even 
of  the  Mayor  who  presided  over  it. 

The  Queen  and  Madame  Elizabeth  occupied  themselves 
with  various  little  pieces  of  work  in  their  room,1  and  with 
the  education  of  the  young  princess,  while  the  King,  in  his, 
was  teaching  his  son.  Neither  did  the  Queen  neglect  the 
education  of  the  latter,  for  one  day,  when  the  young  prince 
came  out  of  her  room  into  the  one  that  I  had  just  entered, 
and  as  he  passed  looked  at  me  without  any  kind  of  greeting, 
the  Queen,  having  seen  it,  called  him  and  said  to  him 
severely :  "  My  boy,  come  back,  and  say  Good  morning  to 
the  gentleman  as  you  pass  him " ;  which  he  did.  This 
incident  may  seem  insignificant,  but  it  is  not  so,  for  it 
shows  at  least  that  the  teachings  of  this  child's  mother  were 
very  different  from  those  that  slander  imputed  to  her  after  wards, 
to  which  subject  I  shall  have  occasion  to  return  before  I  have 
done.  After  a  time  the  kind  of  affinity  that  had  seemed  to 
exist  between  the  royal  prisoners  and  some  of  their  warders 
became  less  marked ;  but  as  several  of  us  were  then  on  guard 
together — never  less  than  two — it  is  possible  that  they  may 
have  noted  the  character  of  each,  and  have  thought  it  best 
to  show  more  reserve.  Once,  however,  when  I  was  alone, 
Madame  Elizabeth  came  and  asked  me  if  I  had  no  news- 
papers I  could  lend  them.  I  answered  that  I  had  none,  which 
was  true.  She  remarked  that  some  of  my  colleagues  some- 
times lent  them  papers,  but  she  hoped  their  doing  so  would 

1  In  M.  de  Reiset's  Madame  Eloff  interesting  details  will  be  found  con- 
cerning the  Queen's  needlework  during  her  imprisonment. 

91 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 


not  compromise  them.  I  think  it  was  then  that  I  told  her, 
as  the  latest  news,  that  the  department  had  just  suspended 
Petion  from  his  functions  as  Mayor,  of  which  fact  she  at  once 
informed  the  King  and  Queen. 

These  little  details,  which  if  they  are  minute  are  also 
accurate,  may  give  some  idea  of  the  daily  existence  of 
the  royal  prisoners.  I  will  add  a  few  finishing  touches 
to  this  picture  of  their  circumstances. 

Some  historians  have  mentioned  two  or  three  of  my 
colleagues  as  having  shown  great  zeal  in  making  themselves 
useful  to  the  royal  prisoners.  No  doubt  this  zeal  was  very 
praiseworthy,  but  as  I  sometimes  witnessed  it  myself  I 
am  in  a  position  to  say  that  it  was  often  indiscreet  or 
ill-advised,  and  that  these  men — setting  aside  the  motive 
that  prompted  their  action — nearly  always  did  more  harm 
than  good  to  the  august  family :  for  reports  of  their  zeal, 
which  was  sometimes  imprudently  shown,  hardly  ever  failed 
to  reach  the  ears  of  the  General  Council,  and  resulted  in 
measures  of  increased  rigour  being  taken  for  the  security 
of  the  royal  prisoners,  for  whose  custody  this  Council  had  been 
made  responsible  by  a  special  law.  Indeed,  some  of  the  mem- 
bers to  whom  I  refer  were  even  forbidden  to  enter  the  Temple. 

But  I  promised  to  give  some  more  details.  One  day 
when  I  was  alone  on  guard  the  King  came  up  to  me  and 
asked  if  I  had  seen  and  known  him  before  the  circumstances 
arose  that  brought  me  so  closely  in  contact  with  him.  I 
answered  that  I  never  had  that  honour,  although  I  had 
very  often  been  at  Versailles  and  even  in  the  Palace.  "  But 
how  was  it  then  that  you  did  not  see  me  ?  "  "  The  reason  of 
it,"  I  answered,  "  is  that  I  am  short-sighted,  and  have  never 
been  able  to  distinguish  one  person  from  another,  even 
at  a  short  distance."  "  What  brought  you  so  often  to 
Versailles  ? "  "  I  was  watching  the  course  of  a  certain  law- 
suit in  the  Cornell  des  Depeches"  "  What  was  the  lawsuit  ? 
That  was  the  Council  in  which  I  generally  presided  person- 
ally." "It  concerned  a  demand  on  the  part  of  several 
communes  of  the  province  of  Artois,  who  were  protesting 
against  the  execution  of  certain  letters  patent  obtained 
by  the  States  of  that  province,  authorising  the  division 

92 


= 


LAMOIGNON    DE   MALESHERBES. 


THE   NARRATIVE   OF   GORET 

of  common  lands."  "I  remember  the  affair  very  well," 
said  the  King,  "and  I  remember  too  that  the  people  won 
their  case."  At  this  point  in  the  conversation  M.  de 
Malesherbes  came  in,  and  on  the  King  telling  him  what 
we  were  speaking  of,  he  too  seemed  to  recall  the  lawsuit  in 
question.  M.  de  Malesherbes  said  to  me :  "  As  the  people 
won  their  case  they  must  have  been  greatly  pleased."  "  Yes, 
monsieur,"  I  answered,  "  but  their  pleasure  was  rather 
damped  by  the  still  recent  memory  of  all  they  had  suffered 
in  the  seven  or  eight  years  for  which  the  case  had  been 
going  on,  during  which  time  their  adversaries,  the  States  of 
the  province,  had  subjected  the  inhabitants  to  outrageous 
persecutions."  "  How  was  that  ?  "  asked  M.  de  Malesherbes. 
"  I  am  speaking  the  exact  truth,"  I  answered.  "  One 
commune,  that  of  Heninlietard,  was  subjected  to  a  sort 
of  siege  because  it  had  joined  the  protesting  party.  Its 
municipal  officers  and  those  of  other  communes,  together  with 
whole  families,  both  men  and  women,  were  thrown  into 
prison  :  and  when  the  people,  by  dint  of  repeated  prayers, 
had  obtained  some  hope  of  relief,  some  ministerial  letters, 
intercepted  by  the  deputies  who  went  to  Court,  reduced  the 
matter  to  the  same  unhappy  state  as  before."  The  King  then 
spoke — and  I  give  his  exact  words  :  "  It  was  M.  Deconzie," x 
he  said,  "  the  Bishop  of  Arras,  who  dragged  that  affair 
out  to  such  a  length." 

I  could  not  help  answering  the  King  in  a  way  I  afterwards 
regretted,  because  my  words  seemed  to  affect  him  disagree- 
ably. This  was  what  I  said :  "  Alas !  how  much  harm 
the  clergy  and  the  nobles  have  done  you ! "  The  conver- 
sation ended  there.  The  King  at  once  returned  to  his  room 
with  M.  de  Malesherbes. 

It  may  be  that  the  reason  the  King  was  affected  by 
this  was  that,  the  province  of  Artois  being  on  the  frontier,  he 
thought  it  would  be  to  his  advantage  that  it  should  be 
favourable  to  him.  He  spoke  to  me  sometimes  after  this, 
but  he  never  mentioned  this  subject  again. 

1  Louis  Francois  Marc  Hilaire  de  Conzi6.  This  was  the  prelate  who  had 
been  Robespierre's  patron.  He  gave  him  the  post  of  judge  in  his  episcopal 
court  on  9th  March,  1782. 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

I  will  now  describe  another  and  more  agreeable  visit 
paid  to  us  by  the  King.  We  sometimes  amused  ourselves, 
my  colleagues  and  I,  by  playing  dominoes  with  Clery.  On 
one  occasion  the  King  came  to  us,  took  possession  of  the 
dominoes,  and  built  little  houses  with  them  so  skilfully  that 
it  was  plain  he  understood  the  principles  of  architecture  and 
knew  the  laws  of  equilibrium.  Of  course  it  is  well  known  that 
he  was  always  interested  in  mechanics,  and  especially  in  the  art 
of  making  locks,  which  did  not  prevent  him  from  being  also 
interested  in  science  and  literature.  He  was  able  to  expound 
Latin  authors,  and  after  his  death  there  was  found  on 
his  chimney-piece  a  volume  of  Tacitus  that  had  often  been  in 
his  hand.  In  it  he  had  written  comments  that  were  extremely 
applicable  to  his  situation.  To  him  might  be  applied  the 
words:  Mem  sana  in  corpore  sano.  He  had  the  strongest 
constitution  possible:  I  never  heard  him  complain  of  the 
least  indisposition  during  the  whole  time  that  I  was  in  the 
habit  of  seeing  him. 

M.  de  Malesherbes,  his  sagacious  counsel,  was  frequently 
with  him,  especially  towards  the  end.  One  day  I  was 
escorting  that  excellent  man  away  from  the  King^s  room. 
When  we  reached  the  foot  of  the  staircase  we  were  about  to 
pass  through  the  door,  though  the  orders  were  to  go  into  the 
room  at  the  bottom  of  the  stairs  for  M.  de  Malesherbes  to  be 
identified ;  to  which  order  he  had  conformed  as  he  came  in. 
The  venerable  lawyer  paused,  and  said  :  "  I  must  go  in  here 
to  be  identified.""  "  It  is  not  necessary,  monsieur,11  I  said, 
holding  him  back  by  the  arm,  "  since  you  are  with  me.11 

"  What  does  that  matter  ?  "  he  answered.  "  One  should 
never  disobey  an  order  "  ;  and  he  went  into  the  room. 

A  man  of  this  kind  was  well  suited  to  be  a  legislator, 
since  he  knew  so  well  how  to  give  an  example  of  submission 
to  the  law.  After  this  incident  we  crossed  the  great  court 
to  the  main  entrance  of  the  Temple,1  where  his  carriage  was 
waiting  for  him  ;  and  as  we  went  we  spoke  of  Louis  XVI/s 
position,  for  it  was  but  a  few  days  before  the  end.  Of  this 
conversation  the  following  words  have  always  remained  in 
my  memory.  "  I  cannot,"  said  M.  de  Malesherbes,  "  make 
1  In  the  Rue  du  Temple.  (See  plan  B,  2.) 

94 


THE  NARRATIVE   OF   GORET 

the  King  pay  any  attention  to  his  affairs,  or  give  his  mind 
to  them.  Gra\e  as  his  position  is,  he  shows  the  greatest 
indifference  to  it."  Here  we  see  the  impassibility  of  which  I 
have  already  spoken.  This  was  the  last  time  I  was  in  the 
Temple  before  the  King's  death. 

On  that  day  of  tragic  memory  I  remained  at  home  till  it 
was  nearly  evening,  and  then  repaired  to  the  General  Council, 
where  I  found  only  a  few  of  my  colleagues,  sitting  in  melan- 
choly silence.  This  was  broken  at  last  by  Jacques  Roux,  an 
infamous  priest  who  had  been  present  at  the  execution,  and 
had  drawn  up  the  official  report  of  the  King's  death,  which 
he  proceeded  to  read  in  a  tone  of  real  ferocity.  He  had  been 
accompanied  by  another  priest  called  Danjou,1  also  a  member 
of  the  Council.  Two  priests  were  found  willing  to  be  present 
at  this  horrible  execution.  Ah,  do  not  let  us  dwell  upon  it ! 

It  ought  to  be  known  how  these  two  priests,  on  the  day 
before  the  execution,  were  chosen  by  the  General  Council  to 
be  present  on  the  occasion.  Chaumette  was  presiding,  and  he 
called  on  the  Council  to  elect  two  of  its  members  as  com- 
missioners to  be  present  at  the  execution,  and  to  draw  up  a 
formal  report  of  the  King's  death,  because  the  custody  of  his 
person  had  been  entrusted,  by  a  special  law,  to  the  Council. 
Not  one  of  the  members  seemed  disposed  to  accept  the  office. 
The  nomination  was  about  to  be  made  by  casting  lots,  when 
the  two  priests  mentioned  above  spontaneously  offered  them- 
selves for  this  horrible  mission,  which  probably  no  other 
member  of  the  Council  would  have  been  found  willing  to 
undertake ;  for  I  may  say  with  perfect  truth  that,  with  the 
exception  of  such  men  as  Chaumette  and  Hebert,  we  were  all 
bewailing  this  terrible  disaster,  and  asking  :  "  Why  put  him 
to  death  ?  Why  not  send  him  away  to  Austria  ?  He 
would  do  no  more  harm  there  than  those  of  his  family  who 
are  there  already."  We  were  all  in  favour  of  the  latter 
course,  and  again  I  can  say  with  absolute  truth,  without 
attempting  to  justify  the  mistakes  the  Council  may  have 
made  on  some  occasions,  that  in  this  matter  we  showed  very 

1  Goret  is  wrong.  Danjou  was  not  present — in  any  official  capacity  at 
all  events — at  the  King's  execution.  Jacques  Roux  and  Jacques  Claude 
Bernard  were  the  two  who  signed  the  Report  of  the  Execution  as  com- 
missioners of  the  Commune. 

95 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

plainly  that  at  the  bottom  of  our  hearts  we  loved  the  King. 
This  love  for  the  King  was  shared  by  the  majority  of  the 
people  :  and  was  shown,  too,  by  that  sentry  of  whom  I  spoke, 
who  at  the  entrance  to  the  Temple  Tower  asked  me  if  he 
should  present  arms,  thus  proving  the  respect  he  still  felt  for 
the  King  in  spite  of  the  turmoil  of  the  times,  when  none 
were  posted  as  sentries  at  the  Temple  but  those  who  had 
shown  the  greatest  devotion  to  the  principles  of  the  Revo- 
lution. 

You  who  emigrated,  you  who  think  yourselves  the  only 
ones  whose  hearts  beat  for  the  King  whom  you  forsook  at 
the  moment  of  danger,  what  answer  can  you  give  to  this  ? 
Why  did  you  not  rather  remain  in  your  own  country  to 
support  the  wishes  of  the  majority  of  the  people  ? 

But  I  am  forgetting  that  I  am  at  the  meeting  of  the 
General  Council  immediately  after  the  King^s  death.1  I  had 

1  One  might  bring  forward  a  hundred  instances  of  the  annoyances— of 
the  cruelties  even — to  which  the  General  Council  perpetually  subjected  the 
prisoners.  One  day — it  was  the  25th  March — the  Queen's  chimney  caught 
fire.  "In  the  evening,"  says  Madame  Royale,  "Chaumette,  the 
procureur  of  the  Commune,  came  for  the  first  time  to  see  my  mother  and 
ask  her  if  she  wanted  anything.  My  mother  only  asked  for  a  means  of 
communicating  with  my  aunt's  room  ;  for  during  the  two  terrible  nights 
that  we  had  passed  with  her,  my  aunt  and  I  had  lain  upon  a  mattress  on 
the  floor.  The  commissioners  opposed  this  request,  but  Chaumette  said 
that  in  my  mother's  state  of  prostration  it  might  be  necessary  for  her 
health,  and  he  would  mention  it  to  the  General  Council.  On  the  following 
day  he  came  back  at  ten  o'clock  in  the  morning  with  Pache,  the  Mayor, 
and  that  fearful  Santerre,  the  Commandant-general  of  the  National  Guard. 
Chaumette  told  my  mother  that  he  had  mentioned  her  request  for  a  door 
to  the  General  Council  and  that  it  had  been  refused.  She  made  no  answer. 
Pache  asked  her  if  she  had  no  complaint  to  make.  My  mother  said,  No  ; 
and  paid  no  more  attention  to  what  he  said." 

Fresh  precautions  were  taken  :  a  wall  was  built  in  the  garden,  lattices 
were  put  up  at  the  top  of  the  Tower,  and  every  hole  was  carefully  stopped 
up.  On  the  1st  April  the  Commune  decided  "  that  no  person  on  guard  at 
the  Temple  should  make  any  drawing  of  any  kind  whatever,  that  the 
commissioners  on  duty  should  have  no  communication  with  the  prisoners 
nor  undertake  any  commission  for  them,  that  Tison  and  his  wife  should 
not  leave  the  Tower  nor  communicate  with  any  person  whatever  outside 
its  walls."  But  this  last  prohibition,  hard  as  it  was  on  the  prisoners,  was 
also  hard  on  the  Tisons  :  they  could  no  longer  see  anyone,  not  even  their 
relations.  One  day  when  their  daughter  had  been  refused  admission — it 
was  the  19th  April — Tison  flew  into  a  violent  rage,  and,  not  knowing  upon 
whom  to  vent  his  fury,  naturally  attacked  the  prisoners  and  those  who 
seemed  to  take  some  interest  in  them.  He  declared  to  Pache,  who 
happened  to  be  in  the  Tower,  that  certain  commissioners  spoke  in  lowered 
voices  to  the  Queen  and  Madame  Elizabeth.  On  their  names  being 
demanded  he  mentioned  Toulan,  Lepitre,  Brunot,  Moelle,  Vincent,  and 

96 


THE  NARRATIVE   OF   GORET 

taken  the  precaution  of  bringing  my  nightcap  with  me,  in 
the  hope  of  being  able  to  get  myself  sent  to  the  Temple  that 
day,  to  be  with  the  Queen  and  her  family  ;  and  I  succeeded 
in  being  chosen. 

I  arrived  at  my  post,  on  the  storey  above  the  one  that  the 
King  had  occupied  till  his  death,  and  that  his  family  had 
occupied  with  him  till  they  were  separated  from  him.  I  had 
not  witnessed  the  parting,  because  I  was  not  at  the  Temple 
at  the  time,  but  the  first  time  I  went  there  afterwards  I 
remarked  how  greatly  it  had  affected  the  whole  family,  and 
especially  the  Queen,  who  had  become  extremely  emaciated 
and  was  quite  unrecognisable.  Like  her,  Madame  Elizabeth 
preserved  a  melancholy  silence ;  the  children,  too,  were  speech- 
less, and  the  King  seemed  much  more  crushed  since  the 
separation.  But,  alas  !  at  the  time  of  which  I  am  speaking 
he  was  no  more. 

As  soon  as  the  Queen  saw  me  from  the  room  where  she  was 
sitting  with  her  family,  she  asked  me  to  come  in,  sending  a 
message  by  Tison,  the  valet  de  chambre  she  had  then,  for 
Clery  had  not  been  allowed  to  go  to  her  after  the  King's 
death.  The  widow,  as  I  say,  asked  me  to  go  to  her,  which  I 
did  at  once.  She,  with  Madame  Elizabeth  and  the  children, 
was  sitting  at  a  table.  They  all  burst  into  tears.  "Madame," 
I  said  in  a  trembling  voice  to  the  Queen,  "  you  must  take 
care  of  yourself  for  your  children's  sake."  This  was  all  I  was 
able  to  say  to  her.  Then,  amid  her  sobs,  she  spoke  to  me. 
"  We  know  of  the  sorrow  that  has  befallen  us,"  she  said  ; 
"  we  heard  all  the  preparations  this  morning,  the  movements 
of  the  men  and  horses.  Our  loss  is  an  accomplished  fact,  and 
we  wish  to  be  provided  with  mourning."  Being  unable  to 
hide  my  feelings,  I  said  nothing  but  a  few  broken  words : 
"  Alas,  madame  !  alas,  madame  ! "  I  then  went  out,  assuring 

Dr.  Brunier,  and  added  that  the  prisoners  had  some  means  of  communi- 
cating with  the  outside  world.  As  a  proof  he  related  that  one  day  after 
supper  the  Queen,  in  taking  out  her  handkerchief,  had  dropped  a  pencil, 
and  that  in  Madame  Elizabeth's  room  there  were  wafers,  sealing-wax,  and 
pens  in  a  box.  His  wife,  on  being  questioned,  said  the  same.  The 
denunciation  was  signed  b}?  the  two  spies  and  sent  to  the  Commune,  who 
after  having  placed  seals  on  the  possessions  of  the  suspected  municipal 
officers,  decided  that  a  minute  investigation  should  be  made  at  the 
Temple. 

97  H 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

the  Queen  that  I  would  see  about  the  mourning  she  wished 
for.  "  The  simplest  things,"  she  added. 

Returning  to  the  room  in  which  I  usually  sat,  I  set  to  work 
to  lay  this  request  before  the  Council  in  writing.  The  Queen 
came  to  me  and  told  me  she  would  like  the  mourning  to  be 
made  by  a  certain  sempstress,  whose  name  and  address  she 
gave  me  ;  and  the  very  next  day  her  request  was  granted.1 
Towards  evening  I  went  away,  leaving  no  one  with  the  royal 
family  but  the  valet  de  chambre  and  his  wife.2  I  at  once  went 
to  Clery,  who  had  moved  into  one  of  the  rooms  in  the  build- 
ing adjoining  the  Tower  of  which  I  have  already  spoken.  He 
had  been  placed  there,  more  or  less  as  a  prisoner,3  when  he 
parted  from  the  King.  Him,  too,  I  found  weeping  bitterly, 
and  mourning  the  loss  of  his  good  master.  What  was  I  to 
say  in  such  circumstances  ?  Greatly  embarrassed,  I  proffered 
Clery  a  few  words  of  consolation  and  condolence. 

Presently  someone  came  to  fetch  me  to  supper,  and,  not 
wishing  to  leave  Clery  alone,  I  begged  him  to  come  with  me, 
and  persuaded  him  with  much  difficulty  to  do  so.  He  sat 
down  opposite  me  at  the  table  and  would  hardly  eat  anything. 
General  Santerre  and  some  of  the  officers  of  his  staff  arrived, 
and  also  came  to  the  table.  Santerre  began,  with  unequalled 
callousness,  to  give  a  detailed  account  of  the  execution,  without 
omitting  a  single  circumstance,  not  even  the  fact  that  he  had 
ordered  the  drums  to  be  beaten  when  the  King  wished  to 
speak  to  the  people.  He  added  that  as  the  executioner 
seemed  to  hesitate,  he  had  said  to  him  firmly  :  "  Do  your 


This  conversation,  which  was  certainly  calculated  to  distress 
anyone  of  the  least  sensitiveness  who  heard  it,  affected  Clery 
very  considerably.  I,  therefore,  made  a  sign  to  him  to  leave 
the  table,  and  he  returned  at  once  to  his  room,  whither  I 
followed  him  ;  and  I  spent  the  night  with  him.  Several 
times  he  nearly  fainted,  and  to  revive  him  I  employed  some 
spirits  that  were  there.  The  only  thing  I  heard  him  say  was 
this  :  "  Alas  !  my  dear,  good  master  might  have  saved  himself 

1  See  the  note  on  p.  1  15. 

2  That  is  to  say,  Tison  and  his  wife. 

3  In  the  rooms  of  the  Little  Tower. 

98 


THE  NARRATIVE   OF   GORET 

if  he  had  wished,  for  in  this  place  the  windows  are  only 
fifteen  or  sixteen  feet  above  the  ground.  Everything  had 
been  prepared  for  his  escape  while  he  was  still  here,  but  he 
refused  because  his  family  could  not  be  saved  with  him.1 
"  There,"  he  added,  showing  me  the  book,  "  is  his  breviary. 
He  left  it  to  me,  with  his  watch  and  several  little  things." 
But  Clery  seemed  to  attach  the  greatest  value  to  the  breviary, 
which  he  said  he  intended  to  present  to  the  Pope.  I  do  not 
know  if  he  carried  out  this  intention. 

I  left  Clery  in  the  morning  when  I  came  off  guard.  A  short 
time  afterwards  I  returned  to  the  Temple  to  the  princesses, 
whom  I  found  still  in  a  state  of  the  deepest  sorrow.  They 
declined  to  go  out  into  the  fresh  air,  as  was  proposed  to  them. 
I  represented  to  the  Queen  that  this  was  necessary  for  her 
health  and  for  that  of  her  family,  and  especially  of  the  young 
princess,  who  had  been  unwell  for  some  time.  "  We  do  not 
wish,"  answered  the  Queen,  "  to  pass  the  door  of  the  place 
which  my  husband  left  only  to  die."  Then  I  suggested  to 
her  that  they  should  go  up  to  the  top  of  the  Tower,  where 
there  was  a  circular  gallery,  and  I  persuaded  her  to  do  this. 
I  had  some  seats  taken  there,  and  we  went  up. 

The  gallery  was  surrounded  by  a  parapet  of  about  four  feet 
in  height,  but  barely  two  feet  wide  :  at  the  four  corners  were 
little  turrets  in  which  the  seats  had  been  placed.  As  soon  as 
the  people  of  the  neighbourhood  saw  us  they  collected  in  the 
places  whence  we  could  be  seen  most  easily.  The  young 
prince  expressed  a  desire  to  look  over  the  parapet,  and  the 
Queen  begged  me  to  take  him  in  my  arms.  "  Mon  Dieu, 
madame,"  I  said,  "  I  should  be  delighted  to  do  as  you  ask, 

1  It  is  not  known  to  what  attempt  at  escape  Clery  here  alludes.  No 
historian  has  mentioned  the  existence  of  any  plot  for  carrying  off  the 
royal  family  before  the  21st  January,  1793.  Nevertheless,  the  following  is  a 
somewhat  curious  passage  from  a  letter  written  on  the  llth  February,  1816, 
to  the  Marechal  de  Richelieu  by  1'Hoste  de  Beaulieu  de  Versigny,  formerly  a 
councillor  in  the  Chambrc  des  Comptes  of  Paris.  '  '  Hearing  a  rumour  that 
the  King  was  to  be  tried,  I  went  to  Paris  ;  I  employed  the  tactics  agreed 
upon  with  our  chiefs,  fifty  of  us  proceeded  to  the  Temple  disguised  as  a 
patrol,  being  provided  with  the  watchword  and  also  the  password  into  the 
Tower  ;  but  the  lack  of  numbers  obliged  us  to  yield  to  other  patrolling 
parties.  The  attempt  failed  irretrievably."  This  abortive  attempt,  which 
must  not  be  confused  with  the  much  earlier  one  by  Batz  and  de  Cortey, 
was  doubtless  the  plot  to  which  Clery  referred  when  speaking  to 
Goret. 


99 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

but  the  people  can  see  us,  and  if  they  were  to  observe  what  I 
was  doing  they  might  make  a  disturbance."  "  I  did  not  think 
of  that,"  said  the  Queen  ;  "  you  are  perfectly  right." 

The  princesses  remained  on  this  narrow  promenade  as  long 
as  they  wished,  and  returned  to  it  every  day  when  the  weather 
was  fine  enough.  After  this  I  was  less  often  at  the  Temple, 
because  many  of  my  friends  asked  to  be  sent  thither,  and  so 
my  turn  came  round  less  frequently  ;  moreover,  I  was  obliged 
fairly  often  to  attend  the  meetings  of  a  Commission  concerned 
with  matters  of  police  and  surveillance,  of  which  I  was  a 
member.  One  thing  I  noticed  up  to  the  very  last  time  I  was 
with  the  princesses — that  their  meals  were  perhaps  less 
sumptuous  than  in  the  King's  time,  though  there  was  nothing 
lacking.  They  gave  to  the  young  prince  the  same  position 
and  precedence  that  they  had  given  to  the  King.  Every- 
thing they  wanted  was  procured  for  them  by  the  man  Simon, 
of  whom  several  historians  of  the  period  have  spoken. 

This  man  was  a  member  of  the  General  Council  of  the 
Commune,  who  had  established  him  permanently  in  the 
Temple  to  fulfil  the  functions,  more  or  less,  of  a  factotum. 
He  was  a  wretched  shoemaker,  uneducated  and  ignorant,  but 
apparently  not  so  ill-disposed  as  other  historians  have  made 
him  appear.  The  princesses  summoned  him  fairly  often  to 
bring  them  anything  they  might  require.  His  manner  in 
their  presence  was  rather  free  and  easy.  "  What  do  you  wish 
for,  ladies  ?  "  he  would  say,  and  he  would  then  try  to  do  as 
they  desired.  If  they  asked  for  something  that  was  not  in 
the  stores  of  the  Temple,  he  would  run  out  to  the  shops.  I 
have  heard  the  Queen  say  :  "  We  are  very  fortunate  in  having 
that  good  M.  Simon,  who  gets  us  everything  we  ask  for."  l 

1  Truly  this  is  an  unexpected  testimonial  to  the  famous  cobbler.  We 
will  add  to  it  a  note  found  among  the  Papers  seized  in  Chaumette's  House, 
preserved  in  the  National  Archives. 

A  certain  man,  who  had  been  wounded  on  the  10th  August  and  nursed  in 
the  infirmary  of  the  School  of  Medicine  near  the  Cordeliers,  where  Simon's 
wife  is  known  to  have  worked  as  a  nurse,  wrote  to  Chaumette  to  complain 
of  the  surgeon  Lafiteau.  The  following  passage  is  an  extract  from  his 
letter  : 

"  There  may  be  some  members  of  this  Assembly  who  know  Citoyenne 
Simon.  The  woman,  I  mean,  whose  patriotic  zeal  and  surgical  knowledge 
have  enabled  her  to  cure  a  number  of  our  brothers  in  arms,  the  brave 
Marseillais,  who  were  wounded  in  the  affair  of  the  10th  August.  Well,  this 

100 


THE  NARRATIVE  OF   GORET 

One  day,  when  he  had  said  his  wife  was  ill  in  the  Hotel- 
Dieu,  the  Queen  asked  for  news  of  her.  "She  is  better, 
thank  God,"  he  answered,  and  then  added  :  "  It  is  a  pleasure 
to  see  the  ladies  of  the  Hotel-Dieu  now  ;  they  take  great  care 
of  the  patients ;  I  wish  you  could  see  them  :  they  are  dressed 
like  my  wife  now  or  like  you,  ladies,  neither  more  nor  less/'* 

The  princesses  seemed  to  be  amused  by  the  naivete  of  this 
man,  whom  Robespierre,  it  is  said,  after  he  had  become 
paramount  in  the  government  of  the  Temple,  made  to  behave 
abominably  towards  the  young  prince.1  Of  this  I  saw  nothing, 
for  by  then  I  had  for  some  time  been  no  longer  a  member  of 
the  General  Council. 

worthy  woman  has  done  for  humanity  what  we  all  ought  to  do.  I  was 
present  when  she  came,  about  a  month  ago,  to  beg  the  Sieur  Lafiteau's 
services  for  one  of  our  companions  in  arms  who  was  lying  in  his  bed  a  few 
yards  away  from  the  College  of  Surgery,  and  only  required  to  be  bled. 
The  case  was  very  urgent,  but  Citizen  Lafiteau  persistently  refused  to  go 
with  her,  though  Citoyenne  Simon  offered  him  a  suitable  fee.  Citoyenne 
Simon  was  quite  embarrassed  by  this  reception  of  her  request,  and,  loaded 
with  insults,  went  off  for  another  surgeon." — (National  Archives,  T.  604-5.) 
1  See  page  49. 


101 


THE   RECOLLECTIONS   OF 
JACQUES   FRANCOIS   LEPITRE 

(DECEMBER,  1792 — OCTOBER,  1793) 

Lepitre  was  born  in  Paris  on  the  6th  January,  1764-.  At  the 
age  of  twenty  he  was  a  professor  of  rhetoric  at  the  University 
and  founded  a  school  in  the  Rue  Saint-Jacques.  He  was  popular 
with  his  neighbours,  and  it  was  owing  to  their  good  opinion  of 
him  that  his  name  was  inscribed  among  the  members  of  the 
Commune  of  1789- 

After  the  first  federation  he  gave  up  this  post.  He  had  just 
been  appointed  Professor  of  Literature  in  one  of  the  Parisian 
colleges,  and  was  still  working  at  his  school.  These  occupations 
were  enough  for  him ;  he  was  unable  to  take  part  in  matters  of 
public  interest.  He  was,  then,  unconcerned  with  the  affairs  of 
the  nation  till  December  2nd,  1792,1  on  which  date  he  was 
made  a  member  of  the  provisional  Commune.  Eight  days  later 
he  was  chosen  by  lot  to  serve  in  the  Temple  in  the  capacity  of 
warder. 

From  Lepitre's  narrative  we  may  derive  a  very  distinct  idea 
of  himself.  He  was  pretentious,  with  a  weakness  for  fine 
words  ;  and  he  despised  his  colleagues  in  the  Commune,  who  did 
not,  like  himself,  speak  Latin  in  season  and  out.  In  a  word,  he 
was  an  unattractive  individual.  Physically  he  was  fat,  short, 
lame,  and  ugly. 

And  what  part  did  he  play  in  the  plots  for  the  royal  family's 
escape  in  which  he  was  concerned?  None  but  Jarjayes,  the 
Queen,  or  Toulan,  could  have  told.  We  rather  think  that  Lepitre 
was  one  of  those  who  keep  on  good  terms  with  all  parties  and 
take  care  to  have  friends  in  every  camp.  He  agreed  to  plot  for 

1  Paul  Gaulot,  Un  complot  sous  la  Terreur. 

102 


THE  RECOLLECTIONS  OF  LEPITRE 

the  escape  of  the  prisoners,  but  he  would  risk  nothing ;  and  we 
may  be  almost  absolutely  sure  that  his  vacillation  was  the 
undoing  of  a  scheme  that  had  in  it  many  elements  of  success. 
He  played  his  double  game  successfully  to  the  end,  and  kept  his 
head  on  his  shoulders. 

While  conspiring  in  this  prudent  way  he  was  also  interested 
in  theatrical  affairs,  and  in  1793  his  republican  play  in  one  act, 
La  Premiere  Requisition,  was  brought  out  in  the  City  Theatre. 

In  1797  he  moved  his  school  from  the  Rue  Saint- Jacques  to 
the  Rue  de  Saint-Louis  (de  Turenne)  in  the  Marais.  We  hear 
of  him  again  as  a  professor  of  rhetoric  in  the  college  at  Rouen 
in  181 6;  and  he  afterwards  occupied  the  same  post  in  the 
College  of  Versailles,  where  he  died  on  the  18th  January,  1821. 
He  was  a  Knight  of  the  Legion  of  Honour. 

A  provisional  municipality  was  established  on  the  2nd 
December,  1792.  For  more  than  three  months  the  royal 
family  had  been  confined  in  the  Temple ;  and  it  was  well 
known  that  they  had  suffered  much  at  the  hands  of  most  of 
the  members  of  the  Commune,  who  were  charged  with  their 
custody.  The  worthy  citizens  of  my  section  induced  me  to 
become  a  member  of  this  new  town-council.  They  knew 
my  sentiments,  and  I  willingly  consented  to  fill  a  post  in 
which  I  might  be  of  some  use. 

My  nomination  was  not  contested.  I  was  associated  with 
two  colleagues  l  whose  probity  was  well  known,  and  I  am 
pleased  to  do  them  the  justice  of  saying  so. 

On  arriving  at  the  Council  of  the  Commune  my  first  care 
was  to  scrutinise  each  one  of  its  component  members,  some 
of  whom  had  succeeded  in  being  re-elected,  while  others  were 
attending  their  first  sitting.  My  scrutiny  did  not  influence 
me  in  their  favour.  I  saw  that  most  of  them  were  place- 
hunters,  who  made  no  effort  to  hide  their  aims  when  the 
forty-eight  members  of  the  municipal  body  were  being  chosen. 

Never  was  such  impudence  shown  in  soliciting  votes.  As 
my  only  object  was  to  go  to  the  Temple,  and  as  the  functions 
of  the  municipal  officers  entailed  fairly  frequent  absences, 
I  declined  duties  that  were  by  no  means  to  my  taste,  and 

1  One  of  these  was  Jacquotot,  who  under  the  Restoration  became  a 
barrister  of  the  Royal  Court  of  Paris. 

103 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

remained  unnoticed  in  the  crowd.  What  a  spectacle  that 
assembly  presented!  Men  without  talent  or  education, 
unable  or  hardly  able  to  sign  their  names,  came  in  their 
shirt-sleeves  and  workmen's  aprons  to  don  the  municipal  scarf 
and  sit  in  the  president's  chair.  There  they  regulated  the 
affairs  of  a  whole  nation,  for  this  Commune  of  Paris  soon 
placed  itself  on  a  level  with  the  Convention,  to  which  it  often 
dictated  laws. 

It  had  been  decreed  that  every  evening  the  members  who 
were  to  serve  as  warders  in  the  Temple  should  be  chosen  by 
lot.  They  repaired  to  their  post  at  once  and  relieved  those 
who  had  preceded  them  two  days  previously.  On  the  9th 
December  M.  Jacquotot  and  I  were  elected  to  go  to  the 
Temple. 

I  cannot  possibly  describe  my  emotion  as  I  entered  the 
Tower.  For  a  long  time  I  had  been  haunted  by  a  vision  of 
this  august  family,  the  victims  of  the  most  horrible  conspir- 
acies, bereft  of  liberty  and  exposed  to  every  kind  of  insult. 
And  now  I  was  about  to  see  a  prince  whose  virtues  made  him 
worthy  to  be  numbered  among  the  best  of  kings ;  his  wife, 
once  the  nation's  idol ;  his  pious,  tender-hearted  sister,  the 
very  model  of  sisterly  heroism ;  his  son,  once  the  heir- 
apparent  of  a  throne  that  seemed  to  be  immovably  fixed,  but 
now  the  heir  of  nothing  but  his  royal  parents'*  misfortunes  ; 
and  finally  a  young  princess  who  was  sharing  the  sorrows  of 
her  family,  without  any  hope  of  their  coming  to  an  end. 
<  My  heart  stood  still  and  I  could  hardly  breathe  when,  at  the 
drawing  of  the  lots,  I  found  it  was  my  fate  to  guard  the 
Queen  and  the  princesses. 

It  is  here  necessary  to  give  some  details  as  to  the  construc- 
tion of  the  Tower,  and  the  duties  performed  there  by  the 
Commissioners  of  the  Commune. 

The  Great  Tower,  into  which  the  royal  family  had  been 
removed  some  time  before  I  came  to  the  Temple,  may  be 
about  a  hundred  and  fifty  feet  high,  and  is  composed  of  four 
storeys,  on  each  of  which  is  a  very  large  room.  On  the 
second  and  third  floors  this  had  been  divided  into  four  rooms, 
separated  by  thin  partitions.  The  great  walls  are  about 
seven  or  eight  feet  thick. 

104 


THE  RECOLLECTIONS   OF  LEPITRE 

A  certain  number  of  the  commissioners  were  quartered  on 
the  ground  floor.  On  the  first  floor  was  a  guard-room  ;  and 
the  King  occupied  the  second.  His  room  was  at  the  back, 
and  was  the  only  one  with  a  fireplace  ;  the  furniture  was 
simple  and  consisted  only  of  the  barest  necessaries. 

The  outer  room  was  devoted  to  the  use  of  the  commis- 
sioners on  duty,  and  of  the  two  rooms  at  the  side,  one  was 
used  as  a  dining-room  and  the  other  was  occupied  by  Clery, 
his  Majesty's  valet  de  chambre. 

The  third  floor  was  arranged  like  the  second :  the  outer 
room,  in  which  the  commissioners  sat,  did  duty  as  a  dining- 
room.  The  room  at  the  back  was  the  Queen's,  and  in  it 
Monseigneur  le  Dauphin  and  Madame  Royale  also  slept.  At 
the  side  were  the  rooms  of  Madame  Elizabeth  and  of  Tison 
and  his  wife,  who  were  both  employed  in  waiting  on  the 
princesses. 

At  the  corners  of  the  Tower  on  each  floor  there  was  a 
turret,  in  one  of  which  was  the  staircase,  the  others  being 
used  for  various  purposes.  The  commissioners  were  on  duty 
for  forty-eight  hours ;  they  arrived  at  nine  o'clock  ;  then 
they  had  their  supper,  and  decided  who  was  to  be  on  the 
second  or  the  third  floor  by  drawing  lots.  Twenty-four 
hours  were  spent  with  the  prisoners,  and  twenty-four  in  the 
Council  Room.  Those  who  were  on  duty  for  the  night  went 
upstairs  after  supper  and  remained  on  guard  near  the  King 
or  the  Queen  until  the  next  day  at  eleven  o'clock.  After 
their  dinner  they  again  repaired  to  their  posts  till  the 
arrival  of  the  new  commissioners.  On  the  second  day  they 
were  again  on  duty  for  some  hours. 

It  was  nearly  midnight  when  my  colleague  Jacquotot  and 
I  went  upstairs  to  the  Queen's  rooms.  All  was  quiet ;  even 
Tison  and  his  wife  were  sleeping  profoundly.  We  threw  our- 
selves on  two  uncomfortable  folding  bedsteads,  scantily 
covered  by  a  mattress  that  measured  about  three  fingers' 
width  in  thickness.  We  had  nothing  to  protect  us  from  the 
cold  but  one  thin  coverlet :  we  complained  bitterly  of  this 
next  day,  and  at  least  secured  the  addition  of  sheets,  a  great 
source  of  satisfaction  to  such  as  cared  at  all  for  cleanliness. 
We  were  astir  before  daybreak.  Tison  was  the  first  person 

105 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

we  saw.  This  crafty,  cruel  man  was  able  to  assume  any 
expression  he  chose,  and  he  always  tried  to  win  the  favour  of 
any  commissioners  he  met  for  the  first  time.  Abominable  as 
his  conversation  was  with  those  of  whose  evil  disposition  he 
was  assured,  he  affected  a  certain  amount  of  kind-heartedness 
when  speaking  to  men  who  seemed  to  him  honest  and 
sympathetic,  and  I  have  myself  heard  him  going  into 
ecstasies  over  the  charms  of  the  young  prince.  But,  having 
been  warned  as  to  his  character,  I  hardened  my  heart  against 
his  insinuating  ways  ;  though,  none  the  less,  I  fell  a  victim  to 
him.  His  wife  modelled  herself  upon  the  same  pattern,  but 
the  fear  her  husband  inspired  in  her  had  more  to  do  with  this 
than  had  her  natural  inclinations.  Her  depositions  against 
me  and  some  of  my  colleagues,  however,  were  no  less 
disastrous  for  us  on  that  account. 

The  functions  of  these  two  individuals  entailed  more  or  less 
discomfort  on  the  royal  family  according  to  the  character  of 
the  members  of  the  Commune  on  duty.  And  yet  the  gentle- 
ness and  courtesy  with  which  the  Queen  and  the  princesses 
asked  them  for  the  least  thing  can  hardly  be  imagined. 

At  eight  o^clock  the  Queen  opened  her  door  and  went  into 
Madame  Elizabeth's  room.  Her  keen  glance  dwelt  upon  us 
for  a  moment,  and  it  was  easy  to  see  that  she  was  trying  to 
discover  the  nature  of  our  feelings  with  regard  to  her.  We 
were  decently  dressed ;  indeed,  our  appearance  was  a  contrast 
to  that  of  most  of  the  Commissioners.  The  respect  that 
misfortune  claims  from  us  all  was  plainly  written  upon  our 
faces.  Madame  stood  at  the  door  of  her  room  and 
scrutinised  us  for  some  time,  and  then  both  she  and  Madame 
Elizabeth  came  out  to  us  and  asked  the  name  of  our  section, 
observing  that  this  was  the  first  time  we  had  visited  the 
Temple.  During  breakfast,  at  which  another  commissioner 
appeared  (for  no  meal  was  served  except  in  the  presence  of  a 
member  of  the  Council),  we  remained  in  the  outer  room,  for 
we  dared  not  place  any  confidence  in  our  colleague. 

This  was  Toulan,1  one  of  those  who  showed  the  greatest 

1  Francois  Adrien  Toulan,  born  at  Toulouse  in  1761,  was  married  in 
July,  1787,  to  Francoise  Germaine  Dumasbon.  Toulan  went  to  Paris  after 
his  marriage  and  opened  a  book -shop.  Being  an  enthusiastic  supporter  of 

106 


THE   RECOLLECTIONS   OF  LEPITRE 

zeal  in  the  service  of  the  royal  family  while  they  were  in  the 
Temple.  I  did  not  know  him  then,  and  was  far  from 
appreciating  all  his  merits.  Indeed,  I  had  heard  him,  in  the 
Commune,  indulging  in  remarks  on  the  prisoners  that  were, 
to  say  the  least,  inconsiderate,  if  not  actually  disrespectful. 
Being  a  native  of  Gascony,  he  had  all  the  natural  vivacity  of 
that  part  of  the  country,  combined  with  a  great  deal  of 
shrewdness,  and  as  he  was  entirely  fearless  he  was  ready 
to  brave  anything  for  the  sake  of  being  of  use ;  but  he  was 
clever  enough  to  assume  a  mask  of  republicanism,  and  was 
able  to  serve  the  royal  family  all  the  better  for  this  since  he 
was  not  suspected  of  being  attached  to  them. 

When  he  was  gone,  I  ventured  to  ask  the  Queen  if  she  were 
really  sure  of  the  man  with  whom  I  had  seen  her  conversing, 
and  repeated  to  her  some  words  of  his  that  had  shocked  me. 
"  You  need  not  be  anxious,"  she  answered  :  "  I  know  why  he 
behaves  like  that.  He  is  an  excellent  man."  A  few  days 
later  Toulan  told  me  the  princesses  had  advised  him  to  find 
out  what  kind  of  man  I  was,  and  to  talk  matters  over  with 
me  if  he  could  do  so  safely. 

When  breakfast  was  over  my  colleague,  seeing  a  harpsichord 
at  the  entrance  to  Madame  Elizabeth's  room,  tried  to  play 
a  few  notes  upon  it,  but  it  was  in  such  a  bad  condition  that 
he  was  unable  to  do  so.  The  Queen  at  once  came  foward  and 
said :  "  I  should  have  been  glad  to  use  that  instrument,  so  as 

the  Revolution,  he  took  part  in  the  events  of  July  14th  and  October  6th, 
1789,  and  on  the  10th  August  appeared  among  the  assailants  of  the  palace. 
His  conduct  resulted  in  his  being  nominated  a  member  of  the  Commune  ; 
and  being  known  for  his  ardent  patriotism  and  the  purity  of  his  republican 
principles,  he  was  sent  to  the  Temple  as  a  commissioner.  Two  days  spent 
in  the  company  of  the  prisoners  were  enough  to  make  him  one  of  their 
most  devoted  partisans  ;  and  indeed,  his  devotion  was  to  the  death. 

But  how  did  he  make  the  prisoners  aware  of  his  sudden  conversion  ?  How 
could  he  do  so  without  attracting  the  attention  of  his  colleagues  ?  This 
we  do  not  know  and  never  shall  know.  But  it  is  certain  that  the  princesses 
very  soon  put  the  most  entire  confidence  in  him.  By  some  means  he  con- 
vinced them  so  thoroughly  of  his  sincerity  and  loyalty  that  they  had  no 
fear  of  any  trap  or  treason.  Madame  Elizabeth  at  once  informed  Turgy 
of  these  facts,  and  in  a  note  that  the  latter  preserved  she  told  him  of  the 
name  the  Queen  and  she  had  given  Toulan :  Give  this  to  Toulan,  whom 
henceforth  we  shall  call  Fidele,  M.  Paul  Gaulot,  in  his  Complot  sous  la 
Terreur,  has  devoted  a  number  of  pages  to  a  very  complete  study  of  this 
interesting  character.  We  refer  our  readers  to  it.  Here  it  must  suffice 
us  to  say  that  Toulan  paid  for  his  devotion  with  his  head.  He  was 
guillotined  on  the  30th  June,  1794. 

107 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

to  go  on  with  my  daughter's  lessons,  but  it  is  impossible  to 
use  it  in  its  present  state,  and  I  have  not  yet  succeeded  in 
getting  it  tuned."  We  promised  that  on  that  very  day  we 
would  send  for  the  person  whose  name  she  gave  us.  We  sent 
an  express  messenger,  and  in  the  evening  the  harpsichord  was 
tuned.1  As  we  were  looking  through  the  small  collection  of 
music  that  lay  upon  the  instrument  we  found  a  piece  called 
La  Reine  de  France.  "  Times  are  changed  ! "  said  her 
Majesty,  and  we  could  not  restrain  our  tears. 

On  the  llth  December  M.  le  Dauphin  was  moved  upstairs 
to  his  mother's  rooms,  but  the  King  was  not  informed  of  the 
reason  for  this  separation.  The  Mayor  of  Paris  soon  arrived, 
with  Chaumette,  Colombeau  the  registrar,  and  some  municipal 
officers  preceded  by  Santerre  and  his  aides-de-camp.  They 
had  come  to  take  the  King  before  the  Convention.  Toulan 
informed  the  Queen  and  her  family  of  his  Majesty's  departure 
and  return.  I  went  up  to  the  King's  room  at  eight  o'clock  in 
the  evening,  when  he  was  having  dinner.  He  was  calm,  and 
conversed  for  a  few  minutes  with  one  of  the  commissioners 
whom  he  knew  to  be  a  geographer. 

It  is  well  known  that  Louis  XVI.  knew  more  of  the  science 
of  geography  than  many  a  professor.  I  left  the  Temple  on 
the  same  day  and  returned  thither  on  the  15th,  when  I  was 
on  duty  in  the  King's  room  from  eleven  o'clock  in  the  morn- 
ing until  the  evening.  Not  knowing  how  to  occupy  my  time 
with  a  colleague  who  was  sullen  and  taciturn,  and  was  nick- 
named the  Pagoda  by  the  Queen  because  he  never  gave  any 
answer  but  a  movement  of  his  head,  I  went  into  his  Majesty's 
room  and  asked  his  permission  to  take  the  works  of  Virgil 
from  the  chimney-piece.  "  So  you  read  Latin  ? "  said  the 
King.  "  Yes,  Sire,"  I  answered  in  a  low  voice, 

"  Non  ego  cum  Danais  Trojanam  exscindere  gentem 
Aulide  juravi." 

An  expressive  glance  showed  me  that  I  had  been  understood ; 
and  his  Majesty  afterwards  spoke  of  me  to  Clery,  who  con- 
firmed him  in  the  good  opinion  he  had  formed  of  me. 

1  "  Memorandum  of  expenses  incurred  for  Louis  XVI.  in  December,  1792. 
Supplied :  quill-pens,  cut  ready  for  use ;  ink ;  a  red  morocco  portfolio ; 
some  almond  paste ;  some  darning-cotton.  Paid  to  the  pianoforte  maker 
.  .  .  106  livres  4  sols." — (Papiers  du  Temple,  by  M.  de  la  Morinerie.) 

108 


THE   RECOLLECTIONS   OF  LEP1TRE 

While  I  was  reading,  a  deputation  from  the  Convention 
brought  the  papers  containing  the  so-called  evidence  in  the 
trial.  1  was  not  present  throughout  the  whole  inquiry.  I 
went  up  several  times  to  the  Queen's  room,  and  succeeded  in 
giving  her  some  details  of  what  was  taking  place.  On  the 
following  day  I  saw  the  man  Mercereau  there,  a  stone-cutter 
who,  dressed  in  extremely  dirty  garments,  stretched  himself 
on  the  damask  sofa  generally  occupied  by  the  Queen,  and 
justified  his  free-and-easy  behaviour  on  the  grounds  that  all 
men  were  equal.  One  might  possibly  forgive  this  person, 
who  was  silly  enough  and  ignorant  enough  to  believe  what  he 
professed  ;  but  when  men  who  boasted  of  their  intelligence 
and  excellent  education  were  insolent  enough  to  take  an  arm- 
chair before  the  fire  and  put  their  feet  upon  the  fire-dogs  in 
such  a  way  that  it  was  impossible  for  the  princesses  to  warm 
themselves,  who  could  avoid  calling  their  conduct  atrocious, 
especially  when  it  was  plainly  the  result  of  an  underhand 
combination,  formed  with  the  obvious  intention  of  insulting 
the  unfortunate  ? 

The  disturbed  state  of  the  Temple  during  these  two  days 
prevented  me  from  being  with  the  royal  family  as  long  as  I 
wished,  but  I  knew  that  at  least  they  were  not  without  means 
of  acquiring  a  certain  amount  of  information  as  to  passing 
events ;  for  notes — skilfully  delivered  either  by  Toulan  or  by 
a  faithful  servant1  whose  zeal  never  failed — passed  between  the 
illustrious  prisoners  and  told  them  all  that  it  was  important 
for  them  to  know.2  Ever  since  they  had  been  entirely  deprived 
of  newspapers  a  street-crier  had  been  hired  to  shout  the  head- 
lines of  his  journal  in  a  stentorian  voice  under  the  walls  of 
the  Temple.3  He  acquitted  himself  of  this  duty  wonderfully 

1  M.  Turgis  (sic),  now  first  huissier  de  la  chambre  to  Madame  la  Duchesse 
d'Angouleme. — (Note  by  Lepitre.) 

2  Sometimes  during  the  night  notes  were  lowered  or  drawn  up  by  a 
thread  through  the  windows  of  the  second  and  third  floors. — (Note  by 
Lepitre. ) 

3  These  methods  of  communicating  with  the  outer  world  were  supple- 
mented by  another,  a  more  curious  and  more  dangerous  method.     The 
friends  of  the  royal  family  had    secured    the   co-operation   of  a   certain 
Madame  Launoy,  whose  little  flat  was  on  the  third  floor  of  a  house  in  the 
Rue  de  la  Corderie.     During  the  night  a  magic  lantern  was  set  up  in  this 
flat,  and  on  a  sheet  stretched  at  the  back  of  the  room  certain  signs  were 
projected.      These  no  doubt  were  letters  of  the  alphabet,  by  means  of 

109 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

well,  but  his  information  was  necessarily  vague,  and  often 
excited  the  most  acute  anxiety.  It  was  imperative  to  find 
some  means  that  should  be  certain  and  constant,  and  this  we 
succeeded  in  doing  by  making  our  visits  more  frequent. 
Among  the  members  of  the  Commune  there  were  many  who 
were  not  in  the  least  anxious  to  go  to  the  Temple  on  Friday 
or  Saturday  evening  to  spend  Sunday  there,  for  to  men  who 
were  busy  all  the  week  the  pleasure  or  rest  on  that  day 
seemed  too  valuable  to  be  sacrificed  to  the  duty  of  guarding 
the  royal  family  in  a  state  of  confinement.  Toulan  and  I 
were  lucky  enough  to  inspire  our  colleagues  with  the  idea  of 
entrusting  to  us,  on  those  days,  the  duty  they  found  so 
unpleasant.  I,  being  a  professor  in  the  University  of  Paris, 
was  free  on  Saturday  evening  and  Sunday,  and  Toulan,  who 
was  the  senior  clerk  in  an  office,  was  able  to  find  a  substitute 
without  any  difficulty.  In  spite  of  the  objections  we  brought 
forward  for  the  look  of  the  thing,  we  were  chosen  nearly 
every  Friday,  and  with  the  greatest  satisfaction  we  submitted. 
On  Christmas  Eve,  1792,  it  was  decreed,  owing  to  Chau- 
mette,  that  the  midnight  mass  should  not  be  celebrated.  In 
vain  it  was  put  before  him  that  this  step  might  give  rise  to  a 
riot ;  that  the  people  were  not  so  philosophical  as  he,  and 
still  clung  to  their  ancient  customs.  It  was  decreed  that 
municipal  officers  or  members  of  the  Council  were  to  repair  to 
the  various  parish  churches  and  suppress  any  attempt  to  open 
the  doors.  The  result  of  this  was  that  the  members  of  the 
Commune  were  subjected  to  insults  and  blows,  the  mass  was 
sung,  and  Chaumette  became  more  virulent  than  ever  against 
religion  and  the  clergy.  On  the  25th  December,  when  I  went 
into  the  Queen's  room  I  had  told  her  of  this  decree  of  the 
Commune,  though  I  knew  nothing  of  its  consequences.  In 
the  evening  a  colleague  of  mine,  a  master  builder  called 
Beugneou,  arrived  on  the  scene  with  a  slight  wound  on  his 
face,  and  described  to  us  how  the  market  women  had  received 
him  at  Saint-Eustache.  He  laughed  over  his  misadventure. 

which  words  and  sentences  were  formed.  From  the  third  floor  of  the 
Temple  Tower  it  was  possible  to  see  into  Madame  Launoy's  room,  and  so 
the  prisoners  were  able  to  benefit  by  this  method  of  signalling.  This,  at 
least,  is  what  Madame  Launoy  in  her  old  age  recounted  to  a  person  who 
handed  the  story  on  to  us. 

110 


THE   RECOLLECTIONS   OF   LEPITRE 

He  was  a  good  honest  fellow,  with  no  idea  in  his  head  but 
blind  obedience,  and  on  this  occasion  his  obedience  had  been 
unfortunate  for  him. 

I  had,  in  accordance  with  the  Queen's  orders,  supplied  her 
with  two  kinds  of  journals  :  one  being  of  sound  principles  and 
the  other  less  moderate.  As  I  always  wore  a  large  pelisse 
over  my  coat  I  found  it  quite  easy  to  take  into  the  Tower 
anything  for  which  I  was  asked,  or  to  bring  away  anything 
that  required  to  be  carefully  concealed.  Every  Friday  I^took 
the  newspapers  in  this  way  to  the  Queen  and  Madame  Eliza- 
beth. They  retired  into  one  of  the  turrets  to  read  them,  and 
returned  them  to  me  a  moment  before  my  departure.  I  also 
obtained  various  books  that  I  thought  might  interest  them, 
especially  L'Ami  des  Lois,  which  was  at  that  time  creating  a 
great  sensation,  and  had  been  the  cause  of  more  than  one 
stormy  scene.  While  the  princesses  were  reading,  and  when  her 
Majesty  was  writing  her  letters,  I  remained  with  Madame  and 
the  Dauphin,  which  Tison  noticed  to  his  great  indignation, 
and  reported  more  than  once  to  the  Commissioners  of  the 
Commune. 

It  was  the  time  I  had  to  spend  in  the  Council  Room  that 
I  found  the  most  disagreeable.  I  often  had  to  endure  the 
silly  jokes  of  my  colleagues  on  the  subject  of  what  they  were 
pleased  to  call  the  friendship  of  the  prisoners  for  their 
obliging  guardian.  Indeed,  I  eagerly  took  upon  myself  every 
duty  that  gave  me  a  reason  for  absenting  myself. 

It  was  my  office  to  receive  the  various  supplies  and  the 
wine  that  was  brought  every  day  to  the  Temple.  It  was 
necessary  to  give  a  receipt,  and  there  were  several  honourable 
members  whom  it  would  have  puzzled  to  write  it.  I  also 
accompanied  those  who  carried  the  meals  into  the  Tower. 
At  that  time  the  table  of  the  royal  family  was  very  well  cared 
for,  a  sufficient  number  of  persons  being  employed  in  the 
pantry  and  kitchen,  most  of  whom  were  old  servants  from  the 
palace  who  had  begged  for  their  places  here.  They  also  pre- 
pared the  dinner  and  supper  of  the  commissioners  sent  by 
the  Commune.  At  first  these  meals  were  supplied  from  an  eat- 
ing-house outside  the  walls,  but  they  were  so  bad  and  at  the 
same  time  so  expensive  that  it  was  decided  to  secure  the 

111 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

services  of  those  who  were  paid  to  cook  for  the  royal  family  ; 
and  no  one  ever  had  any  reason  to  repent  of  this  step.  It 
was,  indeed,  a  stroke  of  good  luck  for  certain  individuals  who 
were  unaccustomed  to  such  good  cheer.  In  order  to  avoid  any 
possible  injury  to  the  dignity  of  the  municipal  office,  only 
half  a  bottle  of  wine  was  supplied  for  ten  or  twelve  persons 
at  the  end  of  each  meal ;  but  the  abstinence  of  some  formed 
the  gain  of  others,  and  one  evening  I  saw  a  tailor  called 
Lechenard  empty  the  half-bottle  at  a  gulp  before  going 
upstairs  to  the  Queen.  His  colleague  was  obliged  to  put 
him  to  bed,  and  the  next  day  the  state  of  his  bed  and  of  the 
floor  of  his  room  bore  witness  to  his  intemperance.  When 
the  Queen  left  her  room  at  eight  o'clock  he  was  stretched 
upon  his  pallet  in  a  state  of  semi-unconsciousness,  and  her 
Majesty  barely  had  time  to  retreat,  calling  to  Madame 
Elizabeth,  as  she  did  so :  "  Do  not  come  out  of  your  room, 
sister.1'  I  heard  these  details  from  herself,  when  I  succeeded 
this  worthy  man.  We  remonstrated  with  him  on  his  con- 
duct ;  and  later  on  he  took  his  revenge. 

Toulan  returned  to  the  Temple  alone  on  the  first  day  of 
the  year  1793.  He  it  was  who  acted  as  a  messenger  between 
Louis  XVI.  and  his  wife,  sister,  and  children.  About  this 
ime  I  applied  in  vain  to  the  President  of  the  Convention, 
the  late  M.  Treilhard,  to  obtain  leave,  if  possible,  for  the  King 
and  his  family  to  be  reunited.  I  went  to  M.  Tronchet,  but 
he  was  so  much  occupied  with  Louis  XVI.'s  defence  that  he 
would  see  no  one.  I  then  wrote  him  a  letter,  putting  before 
him  in  the  Queen's  name  how  ardently  this  unhappy  family 
desired  to  be  sometimes  with  its  august  head  ;  but  the  request 
was  refused. 

As  long  as  the  trial  went  on,  whenever  I  was  on  duty  at 
the  Temple,  it  was  I  who  escorted  M.  de  Malesherbes  into  the 
Tower.  The  second  time  he  came  I  went  to  meet  him  in 
the  outer  court.1  He  seemed  to  be  somewhat  ill  at  ease,  for 
on  the  previous  day  he  had  suffered  from  the  boorish  manners 
of  the  commissioner  deputed  to  take  him  to  his  Majesty. 
He  looked  at  me :  I  ventured  to  take  his  hand,  and  say  to 

1  The  principal  court  of  the  Grand  Prior's  palace,  beyond  which  car- 
riages were  unable  to  pass.  (See  plan  A. ) 


THE  RECOLLECTIONS   OF   LEPITRE 

him  :  "  Do  not  be  uneasy,  monsieur  ;  non  sum  unus  e  multis  " 
(I  am  not  one  of  the  majority).  "  It  does  me  good  to  hear 
you  say  so,"  answered  this  estimable  old  man.  "  I  beg 
you  will  come  to  meet  me  whenever  you  are  here."  I  only 
once  received  the  brave  Tronchet :  on  the  day  that  the 
Commune  sent  us  a  decree  to  the  effect  that  Louis  XVI.'s 
counsel  were  to  be  stripped  and  searched  from  head  to  foot 
with  the  minutest  care,  to  make  sure  that  they  were  not 
carrying  any  kind  of  instruments  that  might  be  put  to  a 
wrong  use.  The  purport  of  this  decree  made  us  all  very 
indignant,  for  the  Council  that  day  was  composed  of  right- 
thinking  men.  We  rejected  this  unseemly  measure,  to  which 
M.  Tronchet  would  certainly  never  have  submitted.  He 
merely  emptied  his  pockets.  The  decree  of  the  Commune 
was  repealed.  In  the  first  week  of  January,  Toulan  and  I 
had  made  no  secret  to  the  Queen  of  all  the  intrigues  that 
were  being  set  on  foot  by  various  scoundrels  nor  of  the  power 
of  the  party  that  supported  them.  She  could  not  altogether 
abandon  hope,  for  she  refused  to  believe  that  either  the  French 
nation  or  the  foreign  Kings  would  look  on  at  so  atrocious  a 
crime  without  any  attempt  to  prevent  it.  She  did  not  know 
all  that  a  bold  minority  was  capable  of,  when  it  well  knew 
there  was  no  safety  for  it  save  in  the  death  of  the  King,  and 
when,  having  bribed  a  number  of  men  whose  crimes  made 
them  reckless,  it  was  able  to  overpower  a  well-intentioned  but 
timid  majority,  who  had  no  leaders,  no  real  resources,  and 
not  even  a  rallying  point.  I  am  able  to  assert  positively, 
without  fear  of  contradiction,  that  the  day  on  which  Louis 
XVI.  lost  his  life  was  a  day  of  mourning  for  the  majority  of 
the  French  nation.  But  people  shed  their  tears  within 
their  own  four  walls.  They  wept  over  the  fate,  not  only  of 
an  illustrious  family,  but  of  the  whole  of  France,  and  called 
down  the  vengeance  of  Heaven  upon  the  monsters  who  had 
been  the  cause  of  all  the  trouble ;  but  out  of  doors  they  did 
not  dare  to  let  their  faces  reveal  their  real  feelings.  It  was 
feared  that  a  sad,  gloomy  expression  of  countenance  might 
shock  the  distrustful  eye  of  the  villainous  party  in  power,  and 
that  any  feeling  of  regret  that  was  allowed  to  appear  might 
become  a  death-warrant.  I  was  at  the  meeting  of  the  Com- 

113  i 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

mtme  on  the  20th  January  when  there  was  a  demand  for 
commissioners  to  accompany  the  King  on  the  following  tragic- 
day.  All  the  members  showed  how  revolting  the  idea  was  to 
them.  Only  two  rose  eagerly  and  volunteered  for  this 
appalling  duty.  These — horrible  to  relate — were  two 
priests :  Jacques  Roux  and  Pierre  Bernard.1  But  what 
priests !  One  of  them,  who  was  for  ever  preaching  murder 
and  pillage,  would  have  drunk  blood  with  delight :  the  other, 
who  was  equally  cruel  and  more  immoral,  was  living  with  a 
woman  who  was  not  his  wife,  by  whom  he  had  several  children. 
Both  these  men  perished  miserably  :  the  first  died  bathed  in 
blood  from  head  to  foot ;  the  other  wounded  himself  with 
knives  in  five  places  to  save  himself  from  death  upon  the 
scaffold.  Bernard  took  real  pleasure  in  flouting  the  sorrows 
of  the  royal  family ;  and  one  evening  his  remarks  were  so 
outrageous  that  the  princesses,  almost  immediately  after  they 
had  come  to  the  table,  were  obliged  to  leave  it,  to  escape 
from  the  horrible  conversation  of  this  savage.  Jacques  Roux 
employed  another  method  of  disturbing  their  rest.  He  sang 
all  night ;  and  even  Tison's  entreaties  could  not  keep  him 
quiet.2 

We  were  sent  to  the  Temple  a  few  days  after  the  21st 
January.  To  ensure  our  not  being  separated,  Toulan  had 
devised  the  following  ruse.  There  were  three  of  us  ;  and,  as 
a  rule,  we  drew  lots  with  three  pieces  of  paper,  on  one  of 
which  was  written  the  word  day,  while  on  two  others  was  the 
word  night.  Toulan  wrote  day  on  all  three ;  and  made  our 
colleague  draw  his  lot ;  then,  when  the  latter,  being  the  first 
to  open  his  paper,  had  read  the  word  day,  we  threw  our 
papers  into  the  fire  without  looking  at  them,  and  went  off 
together  to  our  post.  As  we  hardly  ever  came  twice  with 
the  same  man  this  device  was  always  successful. 

We  found  the  royal  family  plunged  in  the  deepest  grief. 
As  soon  as  they  saw  us  the  Queen,  her  sister,  and  her 
children  burst  into  tears.  We  dared  not  advance  till  the 
Queen  signed  to  us  to  go  into  the  room.  "  You  did  not 

1  See  note  on  p.  95. 

2  It  was  Jacques  Roux,  too,  who  refused  to  take  charge  of  Louis  XVI. 's 
will,  saying  with  horrible  callousness :  "I  am  here  to  take  you  to  the 
scaffold." — (Note  by  Lepitre.) 

114 


THE   RECOLLECTIONS   OF   LEPITRE 

deceive  me,"  she  said.  "  They  have  allowed  the  best  of  kings 
to  die."  We  gave  them  various  papers  and  journals  that  we 
had  brought  with  us,  and  they  were  read  with  the  utmost 
eagerness,  and  often  watered  with  tears.  We  were  closely 
questioned,  and  our  answers  did  but  increase  the  pain  and 
sorrow  of  the  prisoners. 

On  the  following  day  it  was  our  task  to  introduce  into  the 
Temple  the  sempstress  employed  to  make  the  mourning 
garments,1  although  the  Commune  wished  her  to  do  her  work 
after  a  simple  pattern  without  taking  any  measurements. 
But  we  had  already  shown  in  a  more  important  matter  that 
we  were  not  without  courage.  Madame  Royale  had  for  some 
time  had  a  sore  foot,  which  had  given  the  Queen  a  certain 
amount  of  anxiety.  Her  request  that  a  medical  man  might 
be  summoned  was  acceded  to,  but  this  man  was  to  be  none 
other  than  the  prison  surgeon.  The  Queen  refused  the 
offer,  and  waited  till  we  came.  She  told  us  about  the  sore 
foot,  which  demanded  prompt  treatment,  and  told  us,  too,  of 
her  extreme  repugnance  to  the  idea  of  consulting  the  surgeon 
whose  services  were  offered  to  her.  Finally,  she  told  us  of 
her  wish  to  consult  M.  Brunier,  physician  to  the  "  Children  of 
France,"  and  M.  La  Tasse,2  formerly  surgeon  to  Monseigneur 
le  Comte  d'Artois  and  the  Swiss  Guards.  She  had  their 
address  in  a  memorandum -book ;  we  gave  it  forthwith  to  a 
certain  intelligent  boy ;  and  two  hours  later  M.  Brunier  and 
La  Tasse  arrived.3  We  had  been  obliged  to  secure  the 
sanction  of  the  other  commissioners ;  but  the  exercise  of  a 
little  tact  was  all  that  was  required  in  dealing  with  any  of 
them  who  happened  to  be  good  fellows.  Now,  among  the 

1  "  Items  asked  for  by  the  Queen  on  the  21st  January :  A  mantle  of 
black  taffetas,  a  black  fichu  and  petticoat,  a  pair  of  black  silk  gloves,  two 
pairs  of  kid  gloves,  two  black  taffetas  nightcaps,  a  pair  of  sheets  (refused), 
a  quilted  coverlet  (refused)."—  (De  Vyre,  Histoire  de  Marie  Antoinette.) 

•  La  Gaze. 

3  Report  of  the  commissioners  on  duty  at  the  Temple,  January  26th, 
year  II.  (1793.)  Many  people  made  the  mistake  of  dating  "year  II." 
from  the  1st  January,  1793.) — "Visit  from  Brunier.  Prompt  treatment 
required  by  Marie  Antoinette's  daughter,  on  one  of  whose  legs  a  sore  place 
has  appeared.  Necessary  to  call  in  La  Gaze,  the  surgeon.  He  was 
summoned  by  order.  At  half-past  seven  Brunier  came  again  with  La  Gaze. 
The  other  leg  is  also  threatened.  Prescriptions  sent  to  Robert,  the 
prisoners'  chemist." — (Papiers  du  Temple.) 

115  i  2 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

members  of  the  Commune  there  were  several  good  fellows, 
and  we  made  it  our  business  to  see  that  they  joined  us  in  our 
duties  at  the  Temple.  For  several  months  the  custom  of 
drawing  lots  had  been  abandoned. 

M.  Brunier's  emotion,  on  seeing  those  who  were  so  dear  to 
him,  was  very  great.  It  was  all  he  could  do  to  speak.  The 
sore  foot  was  examined  without  delay,  and  a  course  of  treat- 
ment prescribed  that  was  carefully  carried  out.  I  remember 
a  particular  kind  of  viper  broth  that  was  brought  in  every 
evening  by  a  nice  civil  lad  called  Robert.  The  physician  and 
surgeon  continued  their  visits  without  being  interfered  with, 
but  they  made  a  rule  of  preserving  absolute  silence  when  they 
were  not  sure  of  the  commissioners  who  were  watching  their 
proceedings. 

Clery,  who  was  still  in  the  Temple,1  gave  me  the  table- 
cloth that  had  been  used  for  Louis  XVI/s  Communion  on  the 
morning  of  the  21st  January.  I  took  it  to  Juvisy,  and  gave 
it  into  the  charge  of  Clery's  wife,  whom  I  had  met  sometimes 
in  the  town  when  she  came  to  see  her  husband  and  bring  him 
news.  She  was  always  accompanied  by  a  friend,  who  shared 
her  devotion  for  the  royal  family,  and  more  than  once  ran 
into  danger  in  trying  to  be  useful  to  them. 

In  the  meantime  Toulan's  mind  was  not  inactive.  He 
conceived  the  idea  of  helping  the  royal  family  to  escape  from 
the  Temple,  and  kept  me  informed  of  his  schemes  from  the 
very  first.  We  met  at  my  house,  and  with  us  were  M.  le 

Chevalier  de  Jar 2  and  a  clerk  from  Toulan's  office,  whose 

name,  I  think,  was  Guy ,3  a  zealous  royalist,  whose  help 

was  necessary  to  us,  and  upon  whose  fidelity  we  could  rely. 

1  Cle"ry  only  left  the  Tower  in  February. 

2  Francois  Augustin  Remi  Pelisson  de  Jarjayes,  born  at  Grenoble  on  the 
24th  October,  1745,  had  been  a  colonel  on  the  general  staff  since  1779.     He 
had   married   one   of  the   twelve   first   women-of-the-bedchamber   of  the 
Queen,  Emilie  de  Laborde.     Louis  XVI.  in  1791  made  him  a  brigadier- 
general.     On   the    10th   August   Jarjayes  stood  by  the  King,   whom  he 
followed  to  the  Feuillants,  and  it  was  there  that  he  received  a  definite 
order  from  the  royal  family  not  to  leave  Paris.— (See  Un  Complot  sous  la 
Terreur,  by  Paul  Gaulot. ) 

3  M.  Paul  Gaulot  thinks  that  Guy  was  none  other  than  a  man  called 
Ricard,  the  husband  of  a  cousin  of  Lepitre.    In  Un  Complot  sous  la  Terreur 
there  are  some  interesting   details  about  these  minor  characters  in  the 
tragedy  of  the  Temple. 

116 


THE   RECOLLECTIONS   OF  LEPITRE 

This  was  the  plan  we  fixed  upon  for  the  escape :  a  plan 
whose  execution  would  have  been  dangerous,  but  none  the 
less  quite  possible. 

We  had  procured  some  men's  clothes  for  the  Queen  and 
Madame  Elizabeth,  and  we  brought  them  in  one  by  one, 
either  in  our  pockets  or  on  our  persons,  concealed  under  our 
pelisses.  We  also  obtained  two  wadded  cloaks,  to  hide  their 
figures  from  too  close  a  scrutiny,  and  to  make  their  gait  less 
noticeable.  Moreover,  we  provided  them  with  two  hats 
made  on  purpose  for  them,  and  added  to  them  the  scarves 
and  tickets  of  admission  that  were  used  by  commissioners  of 
the  Commune. 

The  difficulties  in  the  way  of  removing  Madame  Royale  and 
her  brother  from  the  Tower  seemed  to  be  greater.  But  we 
thought  of  a  way  of  doing  so.  Every  evening  the  man  whose 
office  it  was  to  clean  the  lamps  within  the  building,  as  well  as 
those  outside,  came  to  light  up  the  Tower,  accompanied  by 
two  children  who  helped  him  in  his  work.  He  came  in  at 
half-past  five,  and  long  before  seven  o'clock  he  had  left  the 
Temple. 

We  examined  the  clothes  of  the  two  children  with  great 
care,  and  saw  that  similar  ones  were  prepared  for  the  young 
King  and  his  sister.  Above  a  light  undergarment  were  the 
dirty  trousers  and  the  coarse  jacket  called  a  carmagnole  ; 
thick  shoes  were  added,  with  an  old  peruke  and  a  shabby  hat 
to  hide  the  hair ;  while  the  hands  and  face  were  to  be  in  a 
proper  state  to  complete  the  illusion.  This  disguise  was  to 
be  donned  in  the  turret  next  the  Queen's  room,  which  Tison 
and  his  wife  never  entered,  and  we  meant  to  leave  the  Tower 
in  the  following  way. 

It  was  arranged  that  Toulan  was  to  take  advantage  of  the 
Tisons'  weakness  for  Spanish  snuff,  which  he  had  lavished 
upon  them  while  he  was  in  the  Temple,  and  was  to  give  them 
some  of  it  at  a  quarter  to  seven,  mixed  with  so  strong  a  nar- 
cotic that  they  would  instantly  fall  into  a  profound  sleep, 
from  which  they  would  not  be  awakened  till  seven  or  eight 
hours  later,  though  they  would  not  be  in  the  least  injured  by 
it.  This  plan,  innocent  as  it  was,  did  not  please  any  of  us,  but 
we  had  no  choice :  we  should  have  been  obliged  to  adopt  it. 

117 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

The  Queen  was  to  leave  a  note  behind  her,  exonerating 
these  two  people ;  and  then,  dressed  like  a  man,  with  the 
municipal  scarf  round  her,  was  to  pass  out  of  the  building 
escorted  by  myself.  We  had  nothing  to  fear  from  the  Temple 
guard ;  for  if  we  had  shown  our  cards  of  admission,  even  from 
a  distance,  the  sentries  would  have  been  quite  satisfied,  and 
the  sight  of  our  scarves  would  obviate  any  suspicion.  When 
we  were  out  of  the  Temple  we  should  have  gone  to  the  Rue 

de  la  Corderie,  where  M.  de  Jarj was  to  wait  for  us.  A  few 

minutes  after  seven,  when  the  sentries  at  the  Tower  had  been 
relieved,  Guy,  the  clerk  I  mentioned  before,  armed  with  a  card 
of  admission  such  as  was  used  by  the  workmen  employed  in 
the  Tower,  was  to  knock  at  the  Queen's  door  with  his  tin  box 
under  his  arm,  and  Toulan,  scolding  him  for  not  seeing  to  the 
lamps  himself,  was  to  hand  the  children  over  to  him.  He 
would  have  taken  them  out  with  him,  and  on  the  way  to  the 
trysting-place  would  have  rid  them  of  their  clumsy  garments. 
Soon,  Madame  Elizabeth,  in  a  similar  disguise  to  the  Queen's, 
would  have  joined  us  with  Toulan,  and  we  should  instantly 
have  started  away. 

Our  arrangements  were  such  that  no  one  could  have  started 
to  pursue  us  until  five  hours  after  our  departure.  We  had 
made  most  careful  calculations.  In  the  first  place,  no  one  in 
the  Tower  ever  went  upstairs  till  nine  o'clock  in  the  evening, 
when  the  table  was  laid  and  the  supper  served.  The  Queen 
would  have  asked  that  supper  might  be  at  half-past  nine  that 
evening.  To  knock  repeatedly,  feeling  more  and  more  sur- 
prised that  the  door  was  not  opened  ;  to  question  the  sentinel, 
who,  having  been  relieved  at  nine  o'clock,  would  know  nothing 
of  what  had  occurred  ;  to  go  down  to  the  Council  Room  and 
inform  the  other  members  of  the  strange  circumstances  ;  to  go 
upstairs  again  with  them  and  knock  anew,  and  summon  the 
sentries  who  had  gone  off  guard  and  obtain  vague  information 
from  them ;  to  send  for  a  locksmith  to  open  the  doors,  the 
keys  of  which  we  should  have  left  inside ;  to  get  them  opened 
at  last  with  the  greatest  difficulty,  for  one  of  these  doors  was 
of  oak  and  was  covered  with  large  nails,  and  the  other  was  of 
iron,  and  both  of  them  had  locks  that  entailed  considerable 
excavations  in  the  solid  wall  if  they  were  not  turned  in  the 

118 


THE  RECOLLECTIONS   OP  LEPITRE 

usual  way  ;  to  look  into  all  the  rooms  and  turrets ;  to  shake 
Tison  and  his  wife  violently  without  succeeding  in  waking 
them  ;  to  go  down  again  to  the  Council  Room  ;  to  draw  up  a 
report  and  take  it  to  the  Council  of  the  Commune,  which, 
even  if  it  had  not  broken  up,  would  have  lost  time  in  fruitless 
discussions ;  to  send  messengers  to  the  police  and  the  Mayor, 
and  to  the  committees  of  the  Convention,  asking  what  mea- 
sures should  be  taken  : — all  these  things  would  have  caused  so 
much  delay  as  to  give  us  a  chance  of  escaping  successfully. 
Our  passports  would  have  been  perfectly  correct,  for  I  was 
then  president  of  the  committee,  and  should  have  drawn  them 
up  myself.  We  should  therefore  have  had  no  anxiety  on  the 
journey  as  long  as  the  distance  between  us  and  our  pursuers 
remained  undiminished.1 

We  had  discussed  this  project  on  several  occasions.  On 
one  essential  point  opinions  were  divided.  The  Queen  wished 
us  to  travel  separately,  but  at  a  short  distance  from  each 
other.  She  wished  us  to  have  three  cabriolets,  in  one  of  which 
she  would  have  been  with  her  son  and  M.  de  Jar — ,  while 
Toulan  was  with  Madame  Elizabeth,  and  I  with  Madame 
Royale.  I  combated  this  idea  for  a  long  time,  pointing  out 
that  three  carriages  would  be  more  noticeable  than  one  in  the 
little  towns  or  villages  through  which  we  passed,  and  that  if 
an  accident  should  happen  to  one  of  them  the  two  others 
would  be  obliged  to  wait  and  would  rouse  suspicion.  If  on 
the  other  hand  they  continued  their  journey  there  might  be 
some  fear  of  their  losing  the  way,  or  the  delay  might  lead  one 
party  into  danger  and  expose  the  others  to  regrets  that  would 
be  more  terrible  even  than  the  danger.  But  the  Queen  met 
this  by  saying  that  a  berline  laden  with  six  people  (for  Toulan 
would  have  hurried  forward  on  horseback),  and  drawn  by  six 

1  It  was  in  1817  that  Lepitre  wrote  so  enthusiastically  of  the  details  in 
the  plan  of  escape  :  but  he  omits  to  say  that  in  1793  he  was  much  colder 
and  more  calculating  in  his  view  of  the  affair.  It  was  his  pusillanimity 
that  wrecked  the  plot :  he  refused  to  supply  passports,  although  he  was  the 
president  of  the  commission  that  provided  them.  We  must  add,  too,  that 
Lepitre,  who  poses  here  as  a  hero,  had  insisted  that  the  Queen  should 
secure  him  against  the  material  loss  that  would  result  to  him  from  the 
escape  of  the  prisoners.  In  a  word,  he  expected  to  be  paid,  and  Jarjayes 
undertook  to  satisfy  him  out  of  the  remnants  of  his  own  fortune,  which 
was  already  much  impaired. 

119 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

horses,  would  be  no  less  noticeable ;  and  that,  since  we  should 
be  obliged  to  change  horses  at  every  posting-house,  we  should 
be  exposed  to  the  curiosity  of  the  inhabitants  and  still  more 
to  the  indiscretion  of  the  postillions.  She  pointed  to  the 
unlucky  expedition  to  Varennes  undertaken  in  very  different 
circumstances.  Three  light  carriages  would  only  require  one 
horse  apiece,  and  we  should  surely  be  able  to  find  suitable 
relays  at  various  points  of  our  journey  without  having  recourse 
to  posting-houses.  In  this  way  we  should  secure  better 
horses,  and  should  have  to  change  them  less  often.  Every- 
thing— economy  of  time,  greater  security,  and  the  possibility 
of  our  all  travelling  in  two  carriages  in  case  of  an  accident — 
seemed  to  point  to  the  adoption  of  the  plan  proposed  by  the 
Queen.  Being  alone  in  my  opinion,  I  yielded  to  the  majority  ; 
but  I  confess  it  was  with  much  trepidation  that  I  thought 
of  the  moment  when  the  sacred  charge  for  which  I  was 
to  be  responsible  should  be  confided  to  my  care.  I  should 
have  been  almost  ready  to  say,  like  ^Eneas  when  he  fled 
from  Troy: 

"  Et  moi  qui  tant  de  fois  avait  vu  sans  terreur 
Et  les  bataillons  grecs  et  le  glaive  homicide, 
Une  ombre  m'epouvante,  un  souffle  m'intimide  ; 
Je  n'ose  respirer,  je  tremble  au  moindre  bruit, 
Et  pour  ce  que  je  porte  et  pour  ce  qui  me  suit." 

(Delille's  translation  of  Virgil.) 

It  was  not  till  the  end  of  February  that  the  goal  of  our 
journey  was  determined  upon.  La  Vendee  was  now  in  revolt, 
and  we  might  have  found  a  refuge  there.  This  was  thought 
of  at  first,  but  the  distance  seemed  too  great  and  the 
difficulties  too  numerous.  It  seemed  easier  to  reach  the  coast 
of  Normandy,  and  to  secure  some  means  of  crossing  to 

England.  M.  Jarj undertook  to  provide  for  everything. 

We  could  count  entirely  upon  his  ability  and  his  unwearied 
zeal ;  he  had  money  enough  for  the  journey ;  and  in  whatever 
direction  the  royal  family  had  chosen  to  travel  they  would 
have  found  the  love  and  courage  of  more  than  one  faithful 
subject  ready  to  facilitate  their  escape  by  every  necessary 
means. 

It  may  easily  be  imagined  that  this  scheme  demanded 

120 


THE  RECOLLECTIONS   OF  LEPITRE 

various  modifications.  But  nevertheless  it  was  sufficiently 
well  thought  out  to  give  rise  to  hopes  of  success. 

All  was  arranged  for  the  carrying  out  of  this  plan  in  the 
early  days  of  March,  when  a  rising,  purposely  organised, 
resulted  in  the  Parisian  merchants  being  robbed  of  their 
sugar  and  coffee,  and  led  to  the  passing  of  a  motiveless 
decree,  to  the  effect  that  the  barriers  were  to  be  closed  and 
passports  were  to  be  suspended.1  We  returned  to  the  Temple 
dismayed  by  this  measure,  but  quite  resolved  to  take  advan- 
tage of  the  first  favourable  moment. 

I  have  said  nothing  of  the  song  composed  for  the  young 
King,  after  the  death  of  his  august  father.  Madame  Clery, 
who  was  a  skilful  performer  on  the  harpsichord  and  harp, 
wrote  the  music  for  it.  I  took  it  to  the  Temple  and  pre- 
sented it  to  the  Queen ;  and  when  I  ^returned  a  week  later 
her  Majesty  took  me  into  Madame  Elizabeth's  room,  where 
the  young  prince  sang  the  song  to  Madame  Royale's  accom- 
paniment. Our  eyes  filled  with  tears,  and  for  a  long  time  we 
stood  there  sadly,  without  speaking.  Here  are  the  verses — 
but  the  scene  is  indescribable. 

The  daughter  of  Louis  XVI.  sat  at  the  harpsichord,  and 
beside  her  was  her  mother  with  her  son  in  her  arms,  trying, 
in  spite  of  the  tears  that  streamed  from  her  eyes,  to  direct 
her  children's  playing  and  singing.  Madame  Elizabeth  stood 
beside  her  sister  and  mingled  her  sighs  with  the  sad  tones  of 
her  royal  nephew's  voice.  Never  will  this  picture  be  effaced 
from  my  memory. 

LA   PlETE   FlLIALE. 

Et  quoi !  tu  pleures,  6  ma  mere  ! 
Dans  tea  regards  fixes  sur  moi 
Se  peignent  1'amour  et  1'effroi  ; 
J'y  vois  ton  ame  tout  entiere. 
Des  maux  que  ton  fils  &  soufferts, 
Pourquoi  te  retracer  1' image  ? 
Lorsque  ma  mere  les  partage, 
Puis-je  me  plaindre  de  mes  fers  ? 

1  This  is  not  true.  The  barriers  were  not  closed,  and  the  commission 
that  provided  passports  was  merely  warned  to  be  circumspect  in  supplying 
them.  A  few  lines  further  back  Lepitre  makes  another  mistake.  It  was 
not  at  the  end  of  February,  but  only  on  the  10th  March  that  the  first  out- 
breaks occurred  in  Brittany  and  La  Vendee,  and  the  news  only  reached 
Paris  about  the  17th. 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

Des  fers  !  6  Louis,  ton  courage 
Les  ennoblit  en  les  portant. 
Ton  fils  n'a  plus,  en  cet  instant, 
Que  tes  vertus  pour  heritage. 
Trone,  palais,  pouvoir,  grandeur, 
Tout  a  f  ui  pour  moi  sur  la  terre  ; 
Mais  je  suis  aupres  de  ma  mere, 
Je  connais  encore  le  bonheur. 

Un  jour,  peut-etre  ....  1'esperance 
Doit  etre  permise  au  malheur  ; 
Un  jour,  en  faisant  son  bonheur, 
Je  me  vengerai  de  la  France. 
Un  Dieu  favorable  &  ton  fils 
Bientot  calmera  la  tempete  ; 
L'Orage  qui  courbe  leur  tete 
Ne  detruira  jamais  les  Lys. 

Helas  !  si  du  poids  de  nos  chaines 
Le  ciel  daigne  nous  affranchir, 
Nos  coeurs  doubleront  leur  plaisir 
Par  le  souvenir  de  nos  peines. 
Ton  fils,  plus  heureux  qu'aujourd'hui, 
Saura,  dissipant  tes  alarmes, 
Effacer  la  trace  des  larmes 
Qu'en  ces  lieux  tu  versas  pour  lui. 

A  MADAME  ELIZABETH. 

Et  toi,  dont  les  soins,  la  tendresse 
Ont  adouci  tant  de  malheurs, 
Ta  recompense  est  dans  les  coeurs 
Que  tu  formas  &  la  Sagesse. 
Ah  !  Souviens-toi  des  derniers  voeux 
Qu'en  mourant  exprima  ton  frere  ! 
Reste  toujours  pres  de  ma  mere, 
Et  ses  enfants  en  auront  deux.1 

It  was  on  the  7th  March  that  I  received  from  the  royal 
family  a  most  precious  reward  for  my  zeal  and  devotion. 
The  Queen  and  Madame  Elizabeth  were  good  enough  to  cut 
off  little  locks  of  their  hair,  which  they  gave  me,  together 
with  some  of  Madame's  and  of  the  young  prince's.  The  same 
favour  had  been  granted  to  Toulan,  who  had  the  hair  arranged 

1  Another  royalist  song,  composed  before  Louis  XVI. 's  death,  had  an 
enormous  success,  "a  European  vogue,"  during  the  early  days  of  1793. 
Everyone  knows  the  verses :  "  0  mon  peuple  .  .  .  que  vous  ai-je  done 
fait?"  that  were  sung  to  the  air  of  Pauvre  Jacques.  This  song  was  seen 
by  the  King,  who  derived  some  temporary  consolation  from  it  during  his 
last  days,  and  perhaps  some  encouragement  in  his  last  illusions.  For  a 
long  time  it  was  attributed  to  Ulpien  Hennet,  son  of  the  last  provost  of 
Maubeuge,  but  it  was  really  by  his  brother,  a  captain  in  the  Engineers  and 
an  emigre. — (Z.  Pierart,  Eecherches  historiques  sur  Maubeuge,  1851.) 

122 


MADAME    ELIZABETH. 


THE  RECOLLECTIONS  OF  LEPITRE 

in  a  device  of  sheaves,  upon  a  box.  One  of  the  sheaves  was 
reversed,  the  four  others  upright,  and  with  them  was  this 
motto  :  Tutto  per  loro — "  All  for  them." 

I  had  a  ring  made  for  myself,  in  which  the  hair  of  each 
person  was  arranged  separately.  It  has  upon  it  this  motto, 
which  was  suggested  to  me  by  her  Majesty  :  Poco  ama  ctiil 
morir  teme — "  He  loves  little  who  fears  to  die.1'  At  the  back 
are  these  words  :  The  hair  enclosed  in  this  ring  was  given  on 
the  7th  March,  '93,  to  J.-Fr.  Lepitre  by  the  wife,  the  children, 
and  the  sister  of  Louis  de  Bourbon,  King  of  France.1  A 
gold  plate,  which  may  be  raised  at  will,  covers  the  inscrip- 
tion. 

I  have  worn  this  ring  constantly,  and  it  is  the  only 
ornament  that  has  ever  been  upon  my  finger.  What  diamond 
could  be  so  precious  ?  I  had  already  received  from  Madame 
Elizabeth  another  present,  which  I  have  always  kept 
religiously.  With  a  view  to  facilitating  the  interchange  of 
messages,  and  at  the  same  time  supplying  them  with  some 
occupation,  the  princesses  had  asked  us  for  knitting-needles 
and  balls  of  cotton.  The  latter  might  serve  as  hiding-places 
for  notes,  as  similar  balls  had  served  previously,  when  the 
princesses  were  in  the  habit  of  doing  embroidery.  The  latter 
kind  of  needlework  had  been  forbidden  to  them,  on  the 
ground  that  their  embroidery  designs  concealed  a  correspon- 
dence in  hieroglyphics.  Follies  of  this  kind  provoke  a 
pitying  smile. 

We  had  faithfully  promised  to  grant  this  request  for 
cotton  and  needles,  but  that  evening  our  minds  were  full  of 
many  important  matters  of  various  kinds,  and  our  conversa- 
tion had  been  so  interesting,  that  in  our  elation  and  happiness 
at  having  spent  more  than  five  hours  with  the  princesses 
without  being  interrupted  by  any  intruders,  and  at  being 
granted,  when  we  left  them,  the  honour  of  kissing  the  young 
King,  we  entirely  forgot  our  promises,  and  left  the  Temple 
without  mentioning  the  subject  to  those  of  our  colleagues 
who  were  remaining  there. 

1  The  actual  inscription  was  as  follows  :  Les  cheveux  renfermts  dans  cette 
bague  out  ete  donnts,  le  7  m.  93,  a  J.-Fr.  Lep.  par  F6p.  lea  enf.  et  la  S.  de  L. 
de  £.,  Roi  de  Fr.  —(Translator's  note.) 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

When,  in  the  course  of  the  following  week,  we  went  up  to 
the  Queen's  room,  what  was  our  surprise  when  the  princesses 
came  forward  to  greet  us  with  a  stiff  kind  of  manner  that  we 
had  never  seen  in  them  before,  and  thanked  us  ironically  for 
having  been  so  energetic  in  keeping  our  word  to  them  ! 

We  were  racking  our  brains  to  understand  them,  when 
they  held  out  their  hands,  which  they  had  been  hiding  behind 
their  backs,  and  showed  us  the  knitting  on  which  they  were 
employed.  "  Ah,  messieurs,"  said  Madame  Elizabeth,  "  so 
you  really  wish  to  condemn  us  to  miserable  inactivity  !  But 
everyone  is  not  like  you,  and  worthy  M.  Paffe  (a  hosier  and 
municipal  officer)  has  been  more  obliging  than  you.""  And  it 
was  true  that  this  good  fellow,  in  accordance  with  the 
princesses'*  request,  had  sent  to  his  shop  for  knitting 
materials,  and  we  found  the  cotton  and  needles  figuring  in 
the  Temple  registers.  We  were  profuse  in  our  excuses  and 
were  forgiven. 

Madame  Elizabeth  had  begun  to  knit  what  she  called  a 
stocking :  but  when  she  asked  my  advice  about  her  work  I 
could  not  suppress  a  smile  in  view  of  the  size  of  this  so-called 
stocking.  I  told  her  it  was  probably  a  cap  that  she  had 
meant  to  make.  "  Very  well,  then,  a  cap  it  is  ! "  she  answered, 
"  and  it  shall  be  for  you.""  She  finished  it  the  same  day  and 
gave  it  to  me  just  as  we  were  going  away,  with  strict  injunc- 
tions to  give  to  the  poor  the  sum  that  a  cap  would  be  likely 
to  cost  at  that  time.  I  obeyed  scrupulously,  and  it  cost  me 
the  modest  sum  of  10  francs  in  assignats. 

This  shows  how  the  princess,  even  in  her  jokes,  found  a 
means  of  influencing  others  to  do  good.  I  have  never  seen  a 
character  in  which  the  highest  degree  of  genuine  piety  was 
combined  with  so  much  gentleness.  Her  tenderness  for  the 
children  of  her  august  brother  was  the  tenderness  of  a  mother. 
What  efforts  she  made  to  help  the  Queen  in  educating  the 
young  prince  and  Madame !  For  in  spite  of  the  lack  of 
necessary  aids,  their  education  was  not  neglected  and  the 
resources  of  the  two  princesses  were  such  that  they  were 
able  to  a  great  extent  to  supply  the  lack  of  external  means. 
Not  a  moment  was  ever  wasted  :  even  games  were  turned  to 
good  account.  It  was  impossible  not  to  be  touched  by  the 


THE   RECOLLECTIONS   OF   LEPITRE 

sight  of  the  young  King — barely  eight  years  old — bending 
over  his  little  table,  reading  the  History  of  France  with  the 
greatest  attention,  then  repeating  what  he  had  read,  and 
listening  eagerly  to  the  observations  of  his  mother  or  aunt. 
The  most  savage  among  the  commissioners  could  not  alto- 
gether restrain  their  emotion,  though  it  is  true  they  reproached 
themselves  for  it  later  on. 

The  month  of  March  was  slipping  by,  and  yet  we  had  not 
been  sent  to  the  Temple.  We  noticed  in  the  Council  that 
we  were  regarded  with  ill-concealed  distrust ;  and  it  was  made 
plain  to  us  by  half-uttered  rumours  and  vague  suggestions 
that  we  had  better  be  on  our  guard.  Toulan's  imprudence 
had  roused  suspicion.  He  had  shown  to  two  clerks  in  his 
office  a  gold  box,  which  he  said  had  been  given  to  him  by  the 
Queen.  I  do  not  know  if  he  had  actually  been  given  a  gold 
box  :  I  never  saw  it ;  and  he  only  once  mentioned  it  to  me  ; 
but  what  is  quite  certain  is  this  :  that  the  two  clerks  denounced 
him  to  Hebert,  and  that  the  latter  took  no  notice  of  the 
denunciation  at  the  time,  but  that  it  ultimately  led  to  Toulan 
being  condemned  to  death. 

I,  too,  had  drawn  suspicion  upon  myself  by  a  word  that  I 
had  let  drop,  and  that  one  of  my  colleagues  had  observed.  I 
was  with  the  royal  family  on  the  roof  of  the  Tower,  where 
they  were  sometimes  allowed  to  sit.  I  had  lifted  the  young 
prince  in  my  arms  that  he  might  see  the  streets  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood of  the  Temple,  where  a  number  of  people  had 
collected  and  were  gazing  at  the  Tower.  In  the  garden  were 
the  sentries,  whose  outward  appearance  gave  every  indication 
of  misery  and  destitution.  It  was  very  cold,  and  I  could  not 
help  saying  :  "  How  can  they  allow  the  poor  sansculottes  to 
be  exposed  like  that  to  the  inclemencies  of  the  weather  ? " 
Sansculottes  was  at  that  time  the  popular  name  for  such 
people,  but  I  was  accused  of  using  it  disdainfully,  though  I 
can  swear  I  had  merely  given  expression  to  a  feeling  of 
genuine  pity.  It  was  said  that  the  Queen,  grasping  my 
meaning,  had  looked  at  them  contemptuously  and  vindic- 
tively. Finally,  I  was  threatened  with  a  denunciation  to  the 
Commune.  I  was  not,  however,  publicly  accused,  for  the 
Sieur  Landr —  did  not  carry  out  his  threat;  but  I  saw 

125 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

very  plainly  that  the  story  was  known  and  I  was  looked  at 
askance. 

Well,  on  the  16th  March  we  returned  to  the  Temple. 
We  made  nearly  all  the  necessary  arrangements,  but  we 
adjourned  the  execution  of  our  project  till  our  next  visit, 
though  we  had  no  idea  when  that  might  occur.  Suddenly, 
on  the  26th,  when  the  commissioners  to  the  Temple  were 
about  to  be  chosen,  a  man  called  Arthur  rose  to  speak,  and 
demanded  that,  in  accordance  with  the  old  regulation,  certain 
members  whom  he  would  name  should  be  dealt  with  by  the 
scrutin  epuratoire.1 

"  This  measure,11  he  cried,  "  is  all  the  more  necessary 
because  you  have  in  your  midst  members  who  are  betraying 
you.  I  denounce  in  particular  L.  and  Toulan  :  no  sooner  do 
these  commissioners  arrive  at  the  Tower  than,  without  caring 
to  sup  with  their  colleagues,  they  hurry  up  to  Marie  Antoin- 
ette. I  have  seen  L.  conversing  mysteriously  with  her  ;  and 
when  he  saw  me  he  betrayed  himself  by  the  flush  that  over- 
spread his  face.  Yes,  L.  is  a  false  friend,"  went  on  Lechenard, 
the  tailor  of  whom  I  have  spoken  before  ;  "  he  is  the  favourite 
of  the  prisoners ;  whereas  they  smile  at  him  and  make  him 
civil  speeches,  they  hardly  look  at  me,  the  poor  republican." 
As  for  Toulan,  he  was  chiefly  accused  of  taking  pains  to  make 
the  Queen  and  her  family  laugh,  by  jokes  that  were  degrad- 
ing to  the  dignity  of  a  magistrate  who  represented  the 
people. 

I  was  much  afraid  there  might  be  some  allusion  to  the 
gold  box,  and  to  my  reflection  on  the  Temple  sentries ;  but 
nothing  was  said  on  the  subject,  and  our  courage  rose. 

Toulan  defended  himself  by  joking  about  his  jokes,  and 
ended  by  saying  resolutely  that  he  was  not  the  judge  of  the 
prisoners  confided  to  his  care,  and  that  his  business  was 
merely  to  do  his  duty  to  the  best  of  his  ability,  without 
trying  to  torment  them.  I  confined  myself  to  denying  the 
truth  of  the  alleged  facts,  adding  that  I  was  far  from  deserving 
the  smile  and  civilities  that  Citizen  Lechenard  took  so  greatly 
to  heart,  but  that  nevertheless  I  did  not  think  it  necessary, 

1  The  procedure  for  getting  rid  of  undesirable  members.— (Translator's 
note.) 

126 


THE  RECOLLECTIONS   OF  LEPITRE 

in  the  fulfilment  of  my  duties,  to  exhibit  a  repulsive  coarse- 
ness that  was  foreign  to  my  habits  and  to  my  character. 

Hebert,  while  admitting  the  futility  of  these  denunciations, 
complained  of  the  indiscretion  of  the  members  who  were 
unable  to  defend  themselves  against  the  arts  of  "  that 
family,"  and  gave  them  information  that  they  ought  not  to 
have.  He  demanded  the  scrutin  epuratoire,  and  asked  that 
our  names  might  be  struck  off  the  list  of  those  who  were  to 
be  sent  to  the  Temple. 

The  day  after  I  was  thus  denounced  for  the  first  time  I  went 
to  see  La  Chaste  Suzanne  at  the  Vaudeville  Theatre.  It  is 
well  known  that  this  play  gave  rise  to  various  scenes  of 
violence,  by  its  thinly-veiled  allusions,  and  that,  though  it 
was  approved  of  by  people  of  sound  views,  it  was  furiously 
attacked  by  the  Jacobins.1  In  this  play  occurred  the  words 
that  had  already  been  uttered  in  the  rostrum  of  the  Con- 
vention : 2  "  You  are  the  prosecutors  ;  you  cannot  be  the 
judge." 

Everyone  wanted  to  see  La  Chaste  Suzanne,  and  I  had  great 
difficulty  in  securing  a  place  in  the  pit-boxes.  In  front  of 
me  were  two  well-dressed  ladies,  with  their  husbands  sitting 
behind  them. 

They  paid  no  attention  to  me,  and  expressed  their  opinion 
without  restraint  during  the  performance  of  the  new  play. 
All  went  well  until  the  interval  between  the  acts  ;  but  then  a 
man  in  the  pit  looked  into  the  box  and  said,  in  a  fairly  loud 
voice :  "  There  is  a  municipal  officer  in  that  box." 

I  saw  the  four  people  in  front  of  me  grow  pale.  The 
women,  especially,  seemed  on  the  point  of  fainting. 

It  was  impossible  for  them  to  leave  the  box. 

As  they  recalled  their  conversation  they  had  visions  of 
themselves  being  arrested,  imprisoned,  and  perhaps  denounced. 

1  La  Chaste  Suzanne  was  not  the  only  play  that  created  scenes  of  this 
kind.     In  the  Theatre  du  Lycee  the  story  of  Marie  Antoinette  and  her 
son,  and  their  imprisonment  in  the  Temple,  was  put  on  the  boards  as  a 
drama  entitled  Adele  de  Sacy.     The  Temple  Tower  was  represented  in 
such  a  way  that  no  one  could  fail  to  recognise  it,  and  the  climax  of  the 
play  was  not  merely  the  escape  of  the  prisoners,  but  their  victory  over 
their  enemies.— (See  Louis  Blanc,  Histoire  de  la   Evolution,   Book   X., 
chap,  vii.) 

2  By  M.  Lanjuinais. — (Note  by  Lepitre.) 

127 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

I  hastened  to  calm  their  fears.  "  Do  not  disturb  yourselves, 
mesdames,"  I  said  to  them  ;  "  there  are  men  in  the  municipal 
body  who  think  as  you  do,  and  I  am  of  their  number.  Have 
you  read  the  paper  this  morning  ?"  "  Yes,  monsieur."  "Well, 
I  am  one  of  the  two  members  of  the  Commune  who  were 
denounced  yesterday  for  their  conduct  at  the  Temple."  At 
these  words  their  courage  partly  returned ;  we  entered  into 
conversation,  and  I  found  that  their  sentiments  were  abso- 
lutely in  accord  with  mine.  They  confessed  to  me  that  they 
would  never  have  expected  to  find  a  member  of  the  Commune 
in  a  velvet  coat,  and  that,  when  I  was  recognised,  they  had 
thought  themselves  in  real  danger.  It  is  certain  that  Chau- 
mette,  or  anyone  of  that  stamp,  would  not  have  wasted 
so  fine  an  opportunity. 

We  were  waiting,  Toulan  and  I,  for  the  Council  to  forget 
our  misadventure.  On  Easter  Day,  as  there  were  only  a  few 
members  present,  and  these  seemed  not  at  all  anxious  to  be 
shut  up  in  the  Temple,  we  got  one  of  our  colleagues  to  propose 
us.  We  had  been  accepted,  and  were  actually  preparing  to 
start,  when  the  cruel  Lechenard  arrived  on  the  scene  and  had 
our  nomination  rescinded.  We  saw  that  hope  was  entirely  fled. 
A  permanent  municipality  was  about  to  be  established. 
Toulan  had  not  been  re-elected;  and  although  I  had  been 
nominated,  it  was  decided  that  my  election  was  to  depend  on 
the  scrutin  epuratoire  of  the  forty-eight  sections,  and  I  was 
rejected  by  thirty-two.  It  was  in  vain  that  the  people  of  my 
own  section  persisted  in  their  choice,  in  vain  that  they  posted 
placards  in  Paris  to  vindicate  the  three  members  they  had 
chosen  and  supported ;  there  was  nothing  for  it  but  to  yield, 
lest  we  should  be  involved  in  a  dangerous  struggle  that  would 
only  end  upon  the  scaffold.  I  had  already  resolved  to  quit 
my  useless  office  when  a  fresh  storm  broke  over  Toulan's  head 
and  mine.  There  were  indeed  three  or  four  municipal  officers 
involved  in  the  affair. 

Some  commissioners  from  the  Commune  had  gone  to  the 
Temple  and  instituted  a  minute  inquiry  there.  By  their 
threats  they  had  frightened  Tison's  wife  into  confirming  her 
husband's  depositions,  and  she  declared  us  to  be  agents  of  the 
royal  family.  "  Through  us  they  were  informed  of  all  that 

128 


THE  RECOLLECTIONS   OF  LEPITRE 

took  place ;  we  supplied  them  with  newspapers ;  we  facilitated 
their  correspondence  by  bringing  them  letters  and  taking 
charge  of  the  answers ;  we  were  constantly  in  the  Queen's 
room,  sitting  with  the  prisoners  and  conversing  freely  with 
them."  In  short  she  told  everything  she  could  possibly  have 
seen,  and  everything  she  suspected. 

I  was  not  present  when  the  depositions  were  read  aloud  to 
the  Commune.1  On  the  following  day  at  ten  o'clock,  when 
I  was  going  out  with  my  pupils,  a  woman  stopped  me,  stared 
at  me  in  surprise,  and  seemed  hardly  to  believe  her  eyes. 
"  What ! "  she  said,  "  you  are  still  at  liberty !  But  yes- 
terday evening,  at  eleven  o'clock,  an  order  was  made  out  to 
arrest  you  and  put  seals  on  your  property.  I  was  present 
when  you  were  denounced  to  the  Commune.  Take  advantage 
of  my  warning,  and  see  to  your  affairs."  I  returned  home  at 
once  and  burnt  my  notes,  and  more  particularly  my  song,  for 
I  was  sure  I  should  be  arrested  very  shortly. 

At  midday  the  commissioner  of  police  arrived  at  my 
house,  sealed  up  my  papers,  and  retired  without  ordering  me 
to  follow  him,  or  mentioning  the  warrant  for  my  arrest. 
The  next  day  I  heard  the  street-criers  shouting  out  that 
I  was  confined  in  the  Abbaye  with  my  accomplices,  and  that 
we  were  soon  to  be  tried.  One  of  these  criers,  whose  news- 
paper I  bought,  had  the  effrontery  to  maintain  to  my  face 

1  Sitting  of  the  Commune  of  April  20,  1793.— "Louis  Roux  read  a 
document  which  had  been  drawn  up  in  the  Temple  in  the  presence  of  the 
Mayor,  the  Procureur  of  the  Commune,  and  the  commissioners  on  duty, 
and  contained  two  depositions,  one  by  Tison,  employed  in  the  Temple, 
and  the  other  by  Anne  Victoire  Baudet,  wife  of  Tison,  also  employed  in 
the  Temple.  It  follows  from  these  two  depositions  that  certain  members 
of  the  Council,  Toulan,  Lepitre,  Brunod,  Moelle,  and  Vincent,  the  doctor, 
and  the  building  contractor  at  the  Temple,  are  suspected  of  having  had 
secret  conferences  with  the  prisoners  of  the  Temple,  of  supplying  them  with 
sealing-wax,  wafers,  pencils,  and  paper,  and  finally  of  having  assisted  in 
the  carrying-on  of  secret  correspondence." — (Moniteur  of  April  23,  1793.) 

Another  report,  of  the  29th  April,  mentions  that  "sealing-wax,  wafers, 
and  a  pencil  were  discovered  on  the  20th  in  the  possession  of  the 
prisoners  :  an  indication  that  they  were  carrying  on  correspondence  with 
the  outer  world.  Property  of  the  accused,  and  of  Brunier,  Temple 
physician,  placed  under  seal.  Warrant  issued  against  Citoyenne  Serent, 
formerly  lady  of  the  bedchamber  to  Elizabeth.  Elizabeth's  room  searched. 
The  officer  charged  with  the  carrying-out  of  criminal  judgments,  and  the 
hatter  Dumont,  questioned  with  regard  to  a  hat  found  in  a  box  belonging 
to  Louis  Capet's  sister." — (See  Papiers  du  Temple,  by  M.  de  la  Morinerie ; 
Nouvelle  Revue,  1st  April,  1884.) 

129  K 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

that  this  was  true,  and  that  the  L.  in  question  must  be  in 
prison,  since  the  fact  was  stated  in  black  and  white. 

I  wrote  to  the  Procureur  of  the  Commune,  begging  him 
to  forbid  the  journalists  to  incarcerate  people  on  their  own 
authority. 

A  short  time  after  denouncing  us  the  woman  Tison  went 
off  her  head.  She  went  into  the  Queen's  room,  they  say,  and, 
kneeling  before  her,  implored  her  forgiveness  for  having  basely 
slandered  her  and  for  having  caused  the  downfall  of  blameless 
men,  whom  she,  Madame  Tison,  had  been  forced  to  denounce. 
The  Queen  in  vain  sought  to  calm  her ;  the  wretched  woman 
was  quite  mad,  and  was  removed  to  an  asylum,  where  she 
shortly  afterwards  died.1 

It  was  at  this  time  that  the  Commune  of  Paris,  prompted 
by  the  Committee  of  the  Convention,  drew  up  an  address 
demanding  the  trial  of  the  deputies  from  the  Gironde  and 
of  several  others.  This  address  was  drawn  up  in  secret,  and, 
without  any  notice  being  given,  the  attendance-sheet  was 
replaced  on  the  table  by  another  sheet  of  paper  with  the 
following  heading:  Names  of  those  who  subscribe  to  the 
Address  against  the  Girondists,  etc.  Being  rather  late  in 
arriving  at  the  Council,  I  wrote  my  signature  on  this  sheet 
of  paper  without  looking  at  the  heading ;  but  being  told  of 
the  facts  by  my  neighbour  I  left  my  seat  at  once  and  scratched 
out  my  signature.  On  the  following  day  the  list  was  read, 
and  an  erased  name  was  found. 

After  a  long  examination  it  was  discovered  to  be  mine. 
Great  excitement  and  much  abuse  followed.  Having  been 
told  of  the  affair,  I  wrote  on  the  following  day  to  the  Council 
to  state  my  reasons,  saying  that  it  was  against  my  principles 
to  subscribe  to  addresses  of  that  kind,  especially  when  I  knew 
nothing  about  them. 

This  letter  gave  rise  to  the  most  violent  discussions,  and 
one  of  the  substitutes  of  the  Procureur  of  the  Commune,  who 
quite  recently  played  rather  an  important  role?  censured  me 
as  a  coward  and  a  liar.  Yet  it  must  be  confessed  that  it 
required  some  courage  to  stand  alone,  and  refuse  to  behave 
like  everyone  else ;  and  I  had  told  the  exact  truth. 

1  She  did  not  die  there  (see  note,  p.  74).  2  Pierre  Fra^ois  Real. 

130 


THE   RECOLLECTIONS  OF  LEPITRE 

From  that  moment  I  returned  no  more  to  the  Council. 
The  seals  were  removed  from  my  papers,  and  I  was  given  a 
certificate  to  the  effect  that  nothing  suspicious  had  been  found 
in  my  house. 

I  lived  quietly  enough  till  the  time  when  the  Queen  was 
removed  from  the  Temple.  I  foresaw  the  fresh  crime  that 
the  scoundrels  were  meditating,  and  did  not  hide  from  myself 
that  I  had  good  reason  to  fear  on  my  own  account.  I  knew 
too  how  great  was  the  difference  between  the  way  the  Temple 
prisoners  were  treated  now  and  the  way  they  had  been 
treated  in  our  time ;  the  coarse  food  that  had  replaced  their 
former  meals  ;  the  condition  to  which  they  were  reduced, 
having  no  one  to  wait  upon  them  !  Everything  I  heard  made 
my  heart  ache,  and  I  was  destined  to  suffer  worse  things  yet. 

On  the  7th  October,  while  I  was  having  supper  with  my 
wife,  I  said  to  her :  "  If  I  were  to  be  put  in  prison  I  should 
try  to  be  taken  to  Sainte  Pelagic,  for  there  at  all  events  I 
should  find  people  I  knew,  and  should  be  less  bored  than  in 
any  other  prison."  What  was  my  surprise  when  at  six 
o'clock  on  the  morning  of  the  8th  I  heard  a  knock  at  my 
door,  and  a  member  of  the  revolutionary  committee  informed 
me  that  his  orders  were  to  take  me  to  Sainte  Pelagic,  where 
I  was  to  be  in  close  confinement !  The  last  clause  was  not  at 
all  to  my  taste.  All  my  possessions  were  sealed  up  and  then 
I  was  taken  off  to  my  destination  in  a  carriage.  I  was  to  be 
cut  off  from  everyone  both  within  and  without  the  prison  : 
and  to  be  allowed  neither  letters  nor  papers.  What  a 
situation  to  be  placed  in  !  But  it  is  not  every  gaoler  who  is 
incorruptible,  when  it  is  possible  to  yield  without  any  real 
failure  in  duty ;  and  mine  looked  as  if  he  would  be  quite 
willing  to  be  bribed,  for  I  have  a  shewd  suspicion,  judging 
from  the  sequel,  that  his  orders  were  not  as  severe  as  they 
seemed,  and  that  my  worthy  friend,  while  boasting  of  his 
good  nature,  knew  very  well  that  it  would  do  him  no  harm. 
I  occupied  a  cell  that  measured  six  feet  in  width,  by  seven  in 
length,  for  which  I  paid  twenty-five  francs  a  month.  My 
furniture  comprised  my  bed, — which  had  been  brought  here 
by  my  orders, — a  table  and  a  chair.  I  gave  ten  francs  a 
month  to  the  man  who  looked  after  my  room.  Not  even  the 

131  K  2 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

smallest  service  was  gratuitous.  My  breakfast  and  dinner 
were  brought  to  me  from  my  own  house. 

My  servant  bribed  the  gaoler  downstairs,  and  I  bribed  him 
upstairs.  The  excellent  creature  was  thus  paid  twice  over. 
In  return,  he  saw  that  I  received  everything  that  was  sent  to 
me ;  newspapers,  under  the  vine  leaves  that  covered  my 
basket ;  letters,  in  the  body  of  a  cold  chicken,  or  in  a  pie,  or 
in  my  linen.  From  time  to  time  I  wrung  some  information 
out  of  him.  He  was  especially  communicative  under  the 
influence  of  my  wine. 

He  told  me  which  were  the  best-known  prisoners,  and 
which  were  the  spies  I  ought  to  distrust.  Sometimes  he  let 
me  out  for  five  or  six  minutes  into  the  corridors,  where  I  met 
old  friends  imprisoned  as  "suspects."  Indeed,  I  owed  him 
an  endless  number  of  small  obligations,  which  mitigated  the 
discomforts  of  my  position.  From  my  narrow  window  I 
could  see  Mesdames  Rancourt,  Fleury,  Joly,  Petit,  Lachas- 
saigne,  Suin,  and  Devienne,  actresses  from  the  Theatre 
Francais,  who  were  allowed  the  precious  privilege  of  walking 
about  in  the  garden. 

On  the  14th  October  I  was  summoned  as  a  witness  in  the 
Queen's  trial.  Verily  that  was  a  day  of  mourning,  and  a  day 
of  iniquity  !  I  was  present  during  that  horrible  enquiry,  or 
rather  that  scene  of  perfidy  and  villainy.  With  what  grand 
dignity,  and  with  what  an  air  of  calm  nobility,  the  wife  of 
Louis  XVI.  gave  her  answers  !  The  faces  of  all  the  spectators 
who  had  any  good  feeling  were  full  of  sadness,  but  there 
was  fury  in  the  eyes  of  a  crowd  of  men  and  women  who  had 
been  brought  to  the  hall  purposely ;  though  more  than  once 
this  fury  yielded  for  the  moment  to  pity  and  admiration. 

The  prosecutors  and  judges  did  not  at  all  succeed  in  hiding 
the  rage  that  inspired  them,  and  the  irrepressible  confusion 
with  which  the  Queen's  noble  firmness  covered  them.  The 
indictment  was  a  mere  tissue  of  absurdities  and  calumnies. 
Hebert's  horrible  imputation  made  me  shudder.  Everyone 
was  scandalised  by  this  monster's  effrontery ;  and  everyone's 
heart  was  profoundly  touched  by  those  sublime  words  of  the 
insulted  mother :  "  I  appeal  to  every  mother  here :  is  there 
one  of  them  who  believes  in  the  possibility  of  such  a  crime  ?  " 

132 


THE  RECOLLECTIONS   OF   LEPITRE 

There  was  absolutely  nothing  in  the  depositions  of  the 
witnesses,  who  were  called  in  great  numbers  with  a  view  to 
concealing  their  futility.  We  figured  in  the  affair  as  having 
been  corrupted  by  the  Queen's  promises,  and  having  conspired 
with  her  against  the  security  of  the  State.  We  were  in- 
formed that  we  should  shortly  suffer  the  same  fate.  This  noble 
Princess  must  have  died  in  the  sad  certainty  that  we  should 
not  survive  her. 

When  the  court  temporarily  rose  we  went  down  to  the 
porter's  lodge.  I  found  M.  Bailly  there,  in  a  state  of  great 
depression.  We  spoke  little,  for  we  were  observed.  In  a 
corner  of  the  office  sat  Manuel,  with  a  pale  face  and  a 
gloomy  expression,  saying  nothing  to  anyone.  He  was 
evidently  a  prey  to  remorse.  I  was  confronted  with  the 
Queen  somewhat  late,  and  the  questions  put  to  me  were 
insignificant.  I  confined  myself  to  negatives,  and  the  Queen 
did  the  same. 

I  was  shown  some  coins,  and  the  portraits  in  miniature  of 
two  princesses  who  had  been  friends  of  the  Queen.  I 
professed  not  to  recognise  them  though  her  Majesty  had 
shown  them  to  me  several  times.  Great  stress  was  laid  upon 
our  secret  conferences,  and  upon  the  fact  that  a  man  had  been 
hired  to  cry  the  news  in  the  streets.  I  denied  everything, 
and  this  interrogatory,  which  lasted  for  twelve  minutes,  was 
deemed  sufficient.  I  was  taken  back  to  Sainte  Pelagie,  to 
wait  till  the  evidence  for  our  trial  was  prepared. 

The  end  of  Lepitre's  Recollections  has  no  relation  to  the 
imprisonment  of  Marie  Antoinette.  On  the  8th  November  he 
was  tried,  together  with  eight  other  municipal  officers  who  were 
all  accused  of  having  an  understanding  with  the  Widow  Capet. 
But  the  man  who  was  most  guilty,  Rougeville,  had  fled.  Toulan 
also  had  escaped  and  was  living  at  Bordeaux  under  a  false 
name  ;  it  was  not  till  later  that  he  was  taken  and  condemned 
to  death.  As  a  matter  of  fact  the  Commune  of  Paris  did  not 
at  all  like  the  probity  and  civic  virtue  of  its  members  to  be 
called  in  question  before  the  revolutionary  tribunal:  and  for 
these  reasons,  combined  with  others,  perhaps,  the  accused  were 
acquitted,  with  the  exception  of  Michonis,  who  was  condemned 
to  remain  in  prison  till  the  peace,  and  was  executed  later. 

133 


EXTRACTS  FROM 
THE  NARRATIVE   OF  MOELLE1 

MEMBER  OF  THE  COMMUNE 

IT  was  on  the  5th  December,  1792,  that  I  went  to  the 
Temple  for  the  first  time,  as  a  commissioner  from  the  Com- 
mune. I  had  just  been  nominated  a  member  of  the  provi- 
sional municipality,  which  replaced  that  of  August  10th.  I 
arrived  at  the  Temple  with  three  other  commissioners  a 
little  after  ten  o'clock  in  the  evening,  and  was  to  be  relieved, 
with  them,  two  days  later,  at  the  same  hour.  The 
General  Council  of  the  Commune  nominated,  during  its 
evening  sitting,  the  members  upon  whom  this  duty  was  to 
devolve,  and  renewed  them  every  evening,  four  at  a  time. 
At  this  time  they  were  eight  in  number,  of  whom  two, 
chosen  by  lot,  were  attached,  one  to  the  King's  room  and 
one  to  that  of  the  princesses.  They  remained  there  for 
twenty-four  hours,  beginning  from  the  day  of  their  arrival.  A 
few  days  later  their  number  in  each  room  was  doubled.2  On 
the  following  day  they  formed  part  of  the  Temple  Council, 
which  was  composed  of  the  surplus  of  the  commissioners 
on  duty. 

This  Council  was  responsible  for  all  active  measures  that 
were  adopted,  as  well  as  for  the  custody  of  the  prisoners. 

1  Moelle  (Claud  Antoine  Francois)  was  a  clerk  in  the  Caisse  d'Escompte, 
No.  498,  Rue  de  Buffaut.     (National  Almanack,  1793.) 

He  was  arrested  at  the  same  time  as  Lepitre,  Michonis,  Dange,  &c.,  and 
accused,  as  they  were,  of  having  an  understanding  with  the  Widow  Capet. 
Moelle  was  acquitted  on  the  19th  November,  1793. 

2  It  is  quite  true  that  the  new  municipality  doubled  the  prisoners' 
guard  on  December  llth.  The  Council  Room  of  the  Temple  was  at  the  same 
time  transferred  to  the  ground  floor  of  the  Tower,  and  many  additional 
precautions  were  taken.     These  measures  were  on  account  of  the  King's 
trial.     (See  Papiers  du  Temple.) 

134 


THE  NARRATIVE   OF  MOELLE 

These  measures  were  entered  daily  in  a  register,  in  the  form 
of  resolutions,  and  the  entries  signed  by  all  the  commissioners. 
Everything  connected  with  the  requests  of  the  royal  family, 
which  were  always  made  in  writing,  was  also  signed  by  Clery. 
With  this  same  Council  were  deposited  the  keys  of  the  seven 
barriers  between  the  foot  of  the  stairs  of  the  Great  Tower 
and  the  platform  at  the  top,  as  well  as  those  of  the  outer 
doors  of  the  various  rooms,  which  were  never  opened  for  the 
convenience  of  the  prisoners  or  their  servants,  except  when 
the  commissioners  on  duty  gave  a  signal  by  means  of  a  bell 
that  rang  in  the  Council  Room. 

Members  of  this  Council,  moreover,  entered  the  dining- 
room  with  every  meal.  The  meals  were  prepared  in  the  old 
kitchens  of  the  Grand  Priory,1  and  all  their  ingredients  were 
subjected  to  the  most  rigorous  tests.  Three  men-servants, 
called  Turgy,  Chretien  and  Marchand,  were  charged  with 
carrying  the  food  to  the  Tower,  and  they  waited  in  the  outer 
room  till  the  end  of  the  meal,  the  remains  of  which  were 
appropriated  by  Clery,  and  by  a  man  and  his  wife  called 
Tison,  who  ate  together  after  the  King's  death.  Before  that 
Clery  had  shared  the  meals  of  the  commissioners.  Everything 
was  taken  back  to  the  kitchens  with  similar  precautions,  after 
having  being  examined  by  the  commissioners,  who  were 
particularly  careful  in  scrutinising  the  table-linen,  and  every- 
thing that  had  been  used  by  the  royal  family.  The  men- 
servants  were  also  expected,  under  the  supervision  of  the 
commissioners,  to  carry  the  wood  for  the  King's  fire  and 
those  of  the  princesses  from  the  left-hand  turret  where  it 
was  stored,  which  opened  into  the  dining-room,  to  the  room 
occupied  by  Tison  and  his  wife.  These  two  were  employed 
in  waiting  on  the  princesses;  but  at  the  same  time  they  spied 
upon  everyone  that  approached  the  royal  family,  even  upon 
the  commissioners,  some  of  whom  they  denounced,  as  will  be 
seen  in  the  course  of  this  narrative.2 

1  (See  Plan  A.  6.) 

2  Having  been  on  guard  at  the  Temple  at  the  beginning  of  September, 
1792,  and  posted  as  a  sentry  in  the  little  Tower,  on  the  storey  occupied  by  the 
King,  I  had  been  able,  prompted  by  my  desire  to  be  useful  to  the  royal 
family,  to  notice  the  arrangements  of  the  place  very  carefully,  and  even  to 
ask  Tison  a  few  questions.     He  remembered  this  when  he  saw  me  appear 
at  the  Temple  as  a  municipal  officer.    Since  then  I  have  learnt  from  Clery, 

135 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

Such  was  the  established  routine  while  I  was  at  the 
Temple. 

When  I  arrived  there  on  the  5th  December,  the  Commune 
had  not  as  yet  decreed  that  two  commissioners  should  be  on 
guard  on  each  floor,  and  I  was  chosen  by  lot  to  be  attached 
to  His  Majesty.  The  King  had  gone  to  bed,  and  a  folding- 
bed  was  arranged  for  me  across  the  door  of  his  room.  I 
spent  the  night  in  a  state  of  the  liveliest  agitation,  due 
to  mingled  sensations  of  alarm,  sympathy,  and  respect ; 
and  so,  when  Clery  came  in  at  about  half-past  six  in  the 
morning  to  go  to  His  Majesty 's  room  he  found  me  ready 
to  follow  him. 

Beside  the  King's  bed  was  the  uncurtained  one  of  M.  le 
Dauphin,  whom  our  entrance  did  not  awake.  The  King 
drew  his  curtain,  and  his  first  glance  rested  on  me.  As  this 
was  the  first  time  he  had  seen  me,  and  as,  moreover,  the 
Commune  had  just  been  re-constituted,  it  was  natural  that 
I  should  be  of  some  interest  to  His  Majesty.  While  this 
silent  by-play  was  going  on  Clery  lit  the  fire.  When  the 
King  rose  he  threw  a  dressing-gown  round  him ;  he  sat  on 
the  edge  of  the  bed  while  his  shoes  and  stockings  were  put 
on ;  and  he  shaved  himself.  Clery  completed  his  toilet  for 
him,1  and  then  dressed  M.  le  Dauphin,  who  from  the  moment 
he  awoke  and  throughout  the  process  of  dressing  was  full  of 
the  gaiety  and  playfulness  that  is  so  charming  in  children, 
which  he  possessed  to  a  special  degree.  The  King  smiled 
sadly,  and  looked  at  his  son  with  all  the  tenderness  of  a 

in  whom  he  confided  at  the  time,  that  he  wished  to  denounce  me  on 
account  of  those  early  suspicions  of  his,  but  Clery  succeeded  in  dissuading 
him  from  doing  so. 

1  Louis  XVI. 's  wardrobe  in  the  Temple  was  composed  of  two  coats  that 
were  exactly  alike,  which  he  wore  alternately.  They  were  of  a  pale  reddish 
mixture,  lined  with  fine  unbleached  linen ;  the  buttons  were  of  filigree 
work  in  gilt  metal.  Some  waistcoats  of  white  pique,  some  breeches  of 
black  silky  material,  and  a  greatcoat  of  the  colour  known  as  cheveux  de  la 
Heine,  constituted  the  rest  of  this  wardrobe. — (Note  by  Moelle.) 

Louis  XVI. 's  wardrobe,  composed  of  a  hat,  a  broken  tortoise-shell  box,  a 
little  bundle  of  list  and  white  ribbon,  six  coats — two  of  cloth,  two  of  silk, 
and  two  of  velveteen — a  cloth  overcoat,  eight  waistcoats — two  of  cloth,  two 
of  velveteen,  two  of  silk,  and  two  of  linen — ten  pair  of  breeches  to  match, 
two  white  dressing-gowns,  a  quilted  satin  dressing-jacket,  five  pairs  of 
drawers,  and  nineteen  white  waistcoats,  were  burnt  on  a  pile  in  the  Place 
deGreve  on  Sunday,  September  29th,  1793.— (General  Council  of  the  Com- 
mune of  Paris,  sitting  of  September  30th.) 

136 


THE  NARRATIVE  OF  MOELLE 

loving  father.  Then,  when  M.  le  Dauphin  was  dressed,  he 
said  his  prayers  in  the  presence  of  his  august  father,  who 
immediately  afterwards  retired,  according  to  his  custom,  to 
meditate  in  the  little  turret-room  that  served  him  for  an 
oratory.  I  then  opened  a  book  that  the  King  had  been 
reading  while  his  hair  was  being  dressed,  and  saw  it  was 
a  volume  of  Vise's  Mercure,  a  set  of  which  formed  part 
of  the  small  collection  of  books  that  had  been  brought 
here1  from  time  to  time  in  accordance  with  His  Majesty's 
request. 

/  The  whole  of  this  opening  scene  made  a  vivid  impression 
(  upon  me.  It  shows  how  simple  the  King  was  in  his  private 
life,  how  susceptible  he  was  to  natural  affection,  and  how 
carefully  he  fulfilled  his  personal  duties.  It  is  impossible 
that  so  pure  a  life  should  have  been  the  outcome  of  any  but 
the  most  virtuous  character ;  and  who  can  doubt  that  such 
was  the  character  of  Louis  XVI.  ? 

Breakfast- time  arrived.  This  meal  was  usually  served  in 
the  princesses'  room,  whither  the  King  went  with  his  son. 
For  His  Majesty  this  was  merely  an  opportunity  of  being 
with  his  family  :  he  stood  by  without  eating  anything.  All 
the  commissioners  were  present  at  this  meal,  at  which  Clery 
waited.  Tison  and  his  wife  were  in  their  own  room, 
separated  from  the  outer  room  in  which  the  royal  family 
were  assembled,  by  a  glazed  partition,  which  enabled  them  to 
watch  everything  that  went  on. 

The  Queen,  Madame  Elizabeth,  and  the  young  princess 
were  in  their  ordinary  morning  dress,  which  consisted  of  a 
gown  of  white  dimity.  A  simple  cap  of  lawn  was  their 
usual  headgear.2 

1  With  regard  to  Louis  XVI.'s  Library  in  the  Temple,  see  the  note 
on  p.  137. 

2  In  the  Register  of  requests  made  on  behalf  of  the  King  and  his  family 
there  are  some  rather  interesting  details  in  connection  with  the  dress  of 
the  ladies.     The  following  requests  are  made  in  Marie  Antoinette's  name  : 
a  bodice  of  Jouy  linen  ;  some  cambric  bodices  in  pink  and  white,  and  blue 
and  white ;  a  wrapper  of  thin  Florentine  taffetas  with  a  coat-collar,  of  the 
grey  known  as  boue  de  Paris,  [tied  in  front,  with  a  watch-pocket ;  some 
white  silk  stockings  ;  a  taffetas  fichu  to  tie  at  the  back ;  a  black  beaver 
riding  hat ;  some  strong  shoes,  either  blue  or  grey,  &c. 

Under  Madame  Elizabeth's  name  we  find  linen  caps  trimmed  with 
narrow  lace ;  cuffs  and  bands  of  linen  for  cambric  wrappers  ;  silk  stock- 

137 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

They  changed  their  morning  dress  for  a  garment  of  dark 
brown  cloth  with  a  pattern  of  little  flowers,  which  was  their 
only  costume  for  the  day,  until  the  King's  death,  when  the 
whole  family  went  into  mourning. 

Immediately  after  breakfast  the  King  went  downstairs 
with  M.  le  Dauphin,  accompanied  by  Clery,  who  retired  to 
his  own  room,  and  by  myself.  I  remained  in  the  outer  room 
where  I  had  passed  the  night.  His  Majesty's  door  was 
open. 

Until  the  hour  for  going  out  the  King  spent  his  time 
in  giving  a  lesson  in  geography  to  M.  le  Dauphin,  and  in 
reading  to  himself.  While  he  was  reading  the  young  prince 
left  his  august  father's  room,  and  came  into  the  one  where 
my  feelings  of  respect  had  prompted  me  to  remain.  I  was 
sitting  near  a  faience  stove,  which  was  still  slightly  warm 
from  the  fire  that  had  been  lit  there  in  the  morning  but  had 
been  allowed  to  die  down,  as  had  the  King's  fire  also, 
although  it  was  fairly  cold,  because  this  was  part  of  His 
Majesty's  regime. 

Seated  thus,  I  was  looking  at  a  volume  of  Tacitus  that  I 
had  taken  from  a  cupboard  in  the  anteroom,  where  some 
books  were  kept  for  the  King's  use.  The  young  Prince  came 
to  see  what  I  was  reading,  and  I  heard  him  say,  when  he 
returned  to  His  Majesty,  "  Papa,  that  gentleman  is  reading 
Tacitus."  The  King,  about  a  quarter  of  an  hour  afterwards, 
took  the  opportunity  of  speaking  to  me  on  the  subject  of  my 
reading,  and  was  kind  enough  to  approve  of  certain  remarks 
I  made  as  to  my  interpretation  of  the  author's  meaning. 

In  the  course  of  this  first  day  every  incident  that  occurred 
was  a  fresh  interest  to  me,  and  of  these  the  daily  walk  was 

ings,  some  white  and  some  grey ;  some  grey  shoes  ;  one  pair  of  them  to  be 
Chinese  sabots  ;  a  hat  like  the  Queen's. — (Papiers  du  Temple.) 

There  is  also  in  existence  a  List  of  memoranda  of  articles  supplied  to 
Louis  Seize  and  his  family  between  the  10th  August  and  the  6th  October, 
1792,  year  I.  of  the  French  Republic.  In  the  Tower  of  the  Temple. 

This  list  shows  the  bills  of  those  who  supplied  the  linen,  cloth,  silk,  and 
stockings,  and  those  of  the  milliner,  hatter,  and  draper,  the  tailors,  the 
dressmakers,  the  sempstress,  various  men  and  women  employed  in  making 
dresses  and  underlinen,  the  bootmakers,  and  perfumers,  the  cutler,  book- 
seller, stationer,  laundresses,  and  messengers,  &c.  The  total  outlay  comes 
to  25,318  livres  15  sols  1  denier. — (Papiers  du  Temple,  1st  April,  1884, 
loc.  cit.) 

138 


LOUIS   XVf.    TEACHING   HIS    SON    GEOGRAPHY    IN   THE    TEMPLE. 


THE  NARRATIVE   OF  MOELLE 

not  the  least  pleasurable.  It  still  took  place  in  the  Temple 
garden,  in  an  avenue  of  chestnut  trees  that  had  not  been 
destroyed.  On  the  occasion  of  this  mild  amusement  the 
royal  family  were  accompanied  by  all  the  commissioners,  the 
greater  number  of  whom  walked  in  a  line  with  them.1 

Clery  amused  the  young  prince  apart  from  the  others,  and 
made  him  run  about  for  the  sake  of  exercise.  Meanwhile  I 
stood  by  and,  as  I  watched  him,  meditated  on  the  thought- 
lessness of  his  age,  which  seemed  to  me  to  contrast  so 
strikingly  with  the  anxieties  of  his  royal  parents,  and  the 
demeanour  they  were  obliged  to  preserve  in  this  cruel 
situation  of  theirs.  Madame  Elizabeth,  who  noticed  the  sad 
absorption  with  which  I  followed  the  movements  of  the 
young  Prince,  and  read  my  thoughts,  condescended  to  tell  me 
so  on  the  first  opportunity,  and  was  kind  enough  to  thank 
me.  The  tender  affection  of  this  good  princess  for  her 
imprisoned  relatives,  whose  misfortunes  she  had  determined 
to  share,  made  her  very  observant  and  acute,  so  that  she 
learnt  to  judge  of  the  commissioners'  humanity  by  their 
looks  and  conduct,  and  she  was  not  too  proud  to  encourage 
it  in  them  by  expressing  her  gratitude. 

At  dinner,  which  was  served  in  the  King's  room,  I  again 
saw  the  whole  royal  family,  but  under  a  new  aspect.  Their 
food  was  still  excellent,  and  carefully  prepared.  The  royal 
prisoners  were  most  abstemious,  the  princesses  and  M.  le 
Dauphin  drinking  nothing  but  water,  of  which  the  King 
mixed  a  great  deal  with  his  wine.  At  dessert  he  indulged  in 
a  single  glass  of  sweet  wine.  His  skill  in  carving  meat  was 
remarkable  ;  and  he  showed  this  skill  in  various  kinds  of 
manual  work,  with  which  he  had  been  in  the  habit  of  amusing 
himself  in  happier  times.  The  royal  family  spoke  little,  for 
reserve  was  forced  upon  them  by  the  presence  of  the  com- 

1  It  was  during  one  of  these  walks  that  Lequeux,  an  architect  of  some 
repute,  took  the  very  interesting  sketch  that  faces  p.  84.  It  may  be  assumed 
to  date  from  the  early  days  of  September,  1792,  since  the  work  of  isolating 
the  Tower  is  not  yet  completed.  On  the  right  we  see  the  avenue  of  chestnuts 
to  which  Moe'lle  refers.  In  the  foreground,  counting  from  right  to  left, 
are  three  commissioners  of  the  Commune,  the  King,  the  Queen,  the 
Dauphin,  Madame  Royale,  Clery,  Madame  Elizabeth,  the  porter  Mathey, 
carrying  his  keys  ;  and  no  doubt  Tison  and  his  wife  are  the  figures  above 
the  note  written  by  the  artist :  /  saw  them  there. — L.  Q. 

139 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

missioners.  As  for  me,  the  part  I  had  undertaken  to  play  was 
torture  to  me,  for  I  reflected  bitterly  that  I  too  was 
contributing  to  the  restraint  to  which  this  august  family  was 
subjected  even  at  their  meals. 


About  twelve  days  after  the  King's  death  I  went  on  duty 
in  the  Temple  for  the  last  time.  During  the  two  days  I 
passed  there  very  little  occurred.  It  was  almost  always  impos- 
sible to  communicate  with  the  princesses  in  their  room,  on 
account  of  Tison's  anxious  vigilance  ;  and  I  was  reduced  to 
expressing  my  feelings  almost  entirely  by  mute  but  respectful 
glances.  This  prompted  me,  on  my  last  day,  to  suggest  to 
the  royal  family  that  they  should  seek  some  fresh  air  on  the 
roof  of  the  Tower,  where  I  hoped  to  find  it  easier  to  converse 
with  the  princesses.  The  suggestion  was  accepted,  and  the 
Queen  as  she  left  the  room  to  climb  the  stairs  gave  her  hand 
to  a  municipal  officer  called  Minier,  a  jeweller  on  the  Quai 
des  Orfevres.  This  august  princess,  thinking  in  her  great 
goodness  that  my  feelings  might  have  been  hurt  by  her 
choosing  his  assistance  rather  than  mine,  was  kind  enough  to 
tell  me  as  soon  as  she  was  at  liberty  to  speak,  that  she  had 
acted  in  this  way  for  fear  of  compromising  me.  This  favour 
was  a  thousand  times  greater  than  the  other;  and  far 
greater  than  anything  I  deserved. 

All  the  commissioners  were  present  during  this  sadly 
circumscribed  walk.  When  we  reached  the  platform  the 
Queen  and  Madame  Royale  leant  upon  the  parapet  at  one 
side,  ostensibly  to  enjoy  the  view  from  this  great  height. 
The  Queen  was  between  Madame  and  me.  After  I  had  told 
her  all  I  knew  of  public  affairs  in  answer  to  her  questions, 
she  asked  me  what  measures  I  thought  the  Convention  would 
take  with  regard  to  herself  and  the  fate  of  the  royal  family. 
I  answered  that  she  would  probably  be  claimed  by  the 
Emperor,  her  nephew ;  that  any  fresh  excess  would  be  a 
gratuitous,  and,  moreover,  an  impolitic  outrage;  and  that 
the  King's  death  must  surely  be  the  final  crime  of  the  Con- 
vention, who  had,  indeed,  when  answering  the  King's  request 
for  a  respite,  undertaken  to  provide  for  his  family  in  some 

140 


THE  NARRATIVE   OF   MOELLE 

suitable  way.1     This  answer,  which  was  the  only  one  I  could 
make   in   the   circumstances,   seemed   to   allay   the   Queen's 
anxiety  to  a  certain  extent ;  but  her  hopes  were  chiefly  for  ] 
her  children  and  Madame  Elizabeth,  whose  future  concerned/ 
Jier  much  more  than  her  own.     No  one  who  never  heard  the 
Queen  give  free  and  confidential  expression  to  her  goodness 
of  heart  can  have  any  idea  of  her  true  feelings  or  of  her 
beautiful   nature.     The  royal  family  were  too  generous  not 
to  be  touched  by  the  behaviour  of  those  commissioners  who 
tried  to  lessen   the   hardships   of  their   imprisonment,   and 
showed   respect   for   their   misfortunes.      There    is    nothing 
surprising,^  then,  in    the    confidence   that    the    Queen    and 
Madame  Elizabeth  showed  in  some  of  these  commissioners ; 
it  was  the  only  reward  they  had  to  offer  in  their  state  of 
extreme  destitution.     It  is  worthy  of  note  that  their  confi- 
dence was  never  betrayed  by  any  of  those  who  were  honoured 
by  it  in  a  greater  or  less  degree.     This  is  as  great  a  proof  of 
the  princesses'  discernment  as  of  the  sincere  devotion  that 
they  inspired  and  deserved. 

Madame  Royale,  as  I  said,  was  present  during  the  conversa- 
tion, which  now  turned  on  various  people  ;  among  others  on 
Barnave,  for  whom  the  Queen  inquired.  I  told  her  of  his 
death,  which  I  had  seen  announced  in  several  papers,  though 
it  did  not  actually  occur  till  the  following  year,  when^  he  was 
executed  with  Duport-du-Tertre  and  Rabaut-Saint-Etienne. 
On  the  subject  of  Lafayette,  the  Queen  said  he  was  one  of 
the  chief  causes  of  the  sorrows  that  had  befallen  the  King 
and  herself.  Finally,  when  speaking  of  all  that  had  combined 
to  bring  Louis  XVI.  and  his  family  to  such  depths  of  misery, 
the  Queen  said  she  had  not  had  the  influence  in  public  affairs 
that  had  been  attributed  to  her ;  but  on  this  subject  she 
expressed  herself  very  cautiously. 

However  that  may  be,  the  Queen  shared  her  husband's  fate 
with  absolute  devotion.  She  endured  a  thousand  dangers,  a 
thousand  insults,  a  long  imprisonment,  and  death  at  last ! 

1  M.  Montjoie  mentions  this  fact  in  his  Histoire  de  la  Reine,  and  in  his 
second  edition  adds  a  note  in  which  he  refers  to  me.  I  repeat  this  part  of 
the  conversation  exactly  as  it  took  place  in  Madame  Roy  ale's  presence. — 
(Note  by  Moelle.) 

141 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

And  she  might  have  escaped !  It  is  impossible  to  lay  too 
much  stress  on  the  fact  that  her  courage  and  devotion, 
which  have  been  so  cruelly  misrepresented,  are  unique  in 
history,  and  that  Madame  Elizabeth,  too,  deserves  her  meed 
of  honour.1 

I  took  this  opportunity  of  begging  the  Queen  to  tell  me 
whether  the  Chevalier  de  Labrousse,  who,  to  the  anxiety  of 
his  family,  had  disappeared  on  the  10th  of  August,  had  been 
seen  at  the  palace.  Her  Majesty,  being  unable  to  give  me 
any  information  on  the  subject,  asked  Madame  if  she  knew 
anything.  The  princess  answered  that  she  remembered 
having  seen  the  Chevalier  de  Labrousse  at  the  palace  between 
eight  and  nine  o'clock  on  the  morning  of  the  10th  August, 
and  that  she  feared  he  must  have  fallen  a  victim  on  that 
day. 

The  Queen  was  able  to  talk  thus  to  me,  because  Madame 
Elizabeth,  who  probably  was  doing  all  she  could  to  make  our 
conversation  possible,  was  holding  the  attention  of  the  other 
commissioners,  who  were  also  engaged  with  the  young  Prince 
and  Clery. 

Moreover,  as  our  walk  was  limited  by  the  four  sides  of  the 
parapet,  and  the  sloping  roof  that  surmounted  the  Tower 
filled  up  all  the  centre  of  the  platform,  the  side  on  which  the 
Queen  was  standing  was  hidden  from  the  commissioners,  who 
were  walking  with  Madame  Elizabeth  along  the  other  three 
sides  of  the  parapet.  Therefore  her  Majesty  had  been  able 
to  talk  to  me  in  comparative  safety. 

I  must  not  forget  to  say  that,  having  seen  the  young 
prince  going  alone  into  the  loft  formed  by  the  roof  of  the 
Tower,  the  opening  of  which  was  on  the  side  where  I  happened 
to  be,  I  had  taken  the  opportunity  of  following  him,  and 
taking  him  in  my  arms  and  kissing  him.  I  could  not  resist 
my  desire  for  this  last  satisfaction. 

This  royal  child  had  the  noblest  and  most  lovable  face. 
His  figure  was  perfect,  and  at  that  time  he  enjoyed  the  most 

1  Margaret  of  Anjou  did  not  share  Henry  VI. 's  imprisonment,  but  she  was 
able  to  fight  for  him.  Henrietta  of  France,  Charles  I.'s  wife,  took  refuge 
in  France ;  and  James  II. 's  Queen  preceded  him  to  the  same  country. — 
(Noteby,Moi>lle.) 


THE   NARRATIVE   OF  MOELLE 

excellent  health.  His  bright,  intelligent  remarks,  and  his 
habitual  merriment,  bore  witness  to  a  charming  character. 

The  injury  done  by  his  persecutors  to  his  fine  natural 
disposition  is,  perhaps,  the  most  terrible  of  their  crimes ! 

And  I  must  not  omit  to  mention  that  in  my  desire  to  keep 
something  that  had  been  used  by  one  of  the  princesses,  I  took 
possession  of  a  glove  belonging  to  Madame  Royale,  which  I 
found  on  a  seat.  It  was  a  kid  glove  of  a  yellowish  colour, 
and  it  was  taken  at  the  time  of  my  arrest  from  my  writing- 
table,  where  I  had  put  it  with  my  most  precious  possessions. 


143 


THE    CONCIERGERIE 

(AUGUST  SND — OCTOBER  16™,  1793) 

AT  midday  on  the  1st  August,  1793,  Hanriot,  Commander-in- 
chief  of  the  Parisian  forces,  repaired  to  the  Temple,  where  he 
inspected  all  the  gates,  as  well  as  the  quarters  of  the  prisoners. 
He  noted  the  "lack  of  artillery,"  took  fresh  measures  for  the 
guarding  of  the  place,  ordered  the  officers  in  command  at  the 
different  guard-houses  to  supply  themselves  with  ammunition, 
and  in  short  put  the  Temple  more  or  less  into  a  state  of  siege. 
At  eight  o'clock  in  the  evening  matches  were  distributed  in  the 
artillery-park  that  occupied  the  court  of  the  Grand  Prior's 
palace  ;  and  the  troops  were  astir  throughout  the  night. 

At  a  quarter  past  one  in  the  morning  Michonis,  Froidure, 
Marino,  and  Michel,  commissioners  of  police,  arrived  on  the 
scene,  armed  with  the  Order  which  the  General  Council  had 
drawn  up  on  the  previous  day  for  the  execution  of  the  decree 
passed  by  the  Convention,  to  the  effect  that  Marie  Antoinette 
should  appear  before  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal,  and  should 
immediately  be  transferred  to  the  Conciergerie.  Twenty 
gendarmes  waited  in  the  yard  to  escort  the  prisoner.1  She  was 
awakened — if  indeed  she  slept.  She  embraced  her  daughter 
and  her  sister-in-law — her  son  had  been  taken  from  her  a  month 
before — and  then  she  passed  down  the  stairs  of  the  Tower  and 
out  into  the  stifling,  oppressive  night.  Surrounded  by  com- 
missioners and  soldiers  she  crossed  the  silent  garden  of  the 
Temple ;  not,  we  may  well  believe,  without  turning,  as  Louis 
XVI.  had  turned  on  the  21st  January,  to  look  her  last  at  the 
Tower  that  loomed,  huge  and  sinister,  in  the  darkness.  A  cab 
awaited  her  at  the  steps  of  the  palace ;  the  great  gate  opened  to  let 

1  Papiers  du  Temple,  loc.  cit, 

144 


THE   CONCIERGERIE 

her  pass  :  she  and  her  guard  briskly  crossed  the  sleeping  town  ; 
through  the  streets  of  Le  Temple,  La  Tixeranderie,  La 
Coutellerie,  and  Planche-Mibray,  and  over  the  bridge  of  Notre- 
Dame ;  then  plunged  into  the  Rue  de  la  Lanterne,  and  through 
the  Rue  de  la  Vieille-Draperie  reached  the  yard  of  the  Law 
Courts  at  last.  The  gates  were  opened ;  turnkeys  surrounded 
the  prisoner  ;  she  was  hurried  down  the  steps  and  through  the 
flagged  corridors  ;  finally  she  reached  a  little  cell  with  an  arched 
ceiling.  It  was  now  nearly  three  o'clock  in  the  morning.  To 
this  place  we  shall  return  presently,  to  find  Maria  Theresa's 
daughter. 

It  must  not  be  imagined  that  the  decree  of  the  Convention, 
summoning  Marie  Antoinette  before  the  tribunal,  determined 
the  fate  of  the  Queen.  The  revolutionary  politicians  acted  by 
fits  and  starts,  prompted  by  fury  or  fear ;  their  resolutions  were 
regulated  by  no  plan  and  showed  no  attempt  at  logical  sequence. 
A  month  after  the  Convention  had  passed  its  decree  the  Queen's 
fate  was  still  undecided.  It  was  hoped  that  she  might  be  useful . 
as  a  hostage,  as  a  means  of  prevailing  on  Austria  to  end  the  war  ;  * 
for  tentative  negotiations  had  been  opened  with  Brussels  and 
Vienna,  and  it  was  thought  that  the  head  of  the  unhappy  Queen 
might  command  a  high  price. 

It  seems  certain  that  her  transference  from  the  Temple  to  the 
Conciergerie  was  effected  with  the  sole  object  of  making  the 
world  believe  that  the  prisoner  was  shortly  to  be  tried  ;  and 
indeed  from  this  moment  every  effort  was  made  to  spread  a 
rumour  that  her  execution  was  imminent.  It  was  thought  that 
by  this  means  the  foreign  Powers  might  be  roused  from  their 
indifference,  and  to  save  Marie  Antoinette  from  the  scaffold 
might  perhaps  be  persuaded  to  make  the  advances  that  had 
been  expected  in  vain  for  the  last  three  months.  The 
Committee  of  Public  Safety — for  the  mass  of  the  Convention 
did  not  count  and  had  no  opinion — regarded  both  the  decree 
and  the  Queen's  transference  as  a  mere  threat  and  nothing 
more.  As  for  delivering  her  into  the  hands  of  Fouquier- 
Tinville,  no  one  dared  to  take  the  responsibility. 

This  sinister  farce  was  wonderfully  successful :  not  with  the 
foreign  Powers,  who  seemed  to  be  in  no  way  agitated ;  but  with 
the  few  active  royalists  in  Paris  who  were  still  struggling  to 
save  the  lives  of  their  dead  master's  family.  No  sooner  was 
Marie  Antoinette  removed  to  the  Conciergerie,  no  sooner  did  it 

145  L 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

appear  plain  that  the  fatal  climax  was  drawing  near,  than  a  fresh 
series  of  courageous  efforts  was  made  on  the  prisoner's  behalf. 
It  was  at  this  time  that  the  adventurous,  complicated  Carnation 
Conspiracy  was  formed  ;  a  subject  into  which  we  will  not  enter, 
having  tried  elsewhere  to  unravel  the  more  complex  parts  of  the 
story.1 

But  this  abortive  effort  only  increased  the  perplexity  of  the 
Committee  of  Public  Safety.  The  problem  remained  unchanged. 
What  was  to  be  done  with  this  embarrassing  hostage,  since 
Austria  did  not  seem  inclined  to  redeem  her?  What  would 
happen  if  some  plot,  better  organised  than  the  others,  were  to 
succeed  in  rescuing  the  prisoner  ?  The  authorities  knew  very 
well — they  had  cause  to  know — that  there  was  at  that  time  a 
more  powerful  influence  in  France  than  all  the  committees  put 
together :  namely,  money.  A  fearless  man  with  large  sums  at 
his  disposal  might  any  day  make  himself  the  deus  ex  machind  of 
the  Revolution.  Everything  was  sold  to  the  highest  bidder : 
from  Gobel's  abjuration,  which  was  at  this  very  moment  being 
bargained  for  and  finally  cost  300,000  livres,2  to  the  votes  of  the 
Convention,  which  Chabot  undertook  to  secure  if  the  funds  were 
sufficient,  and  even  to  the  re-capture  of  Toulon,  which  was 
valued  at  ten  millions,  but  eventually  cost  only  four.3  These 
being  the  conditions,  there  was  a  great  risk  that  the  hostage 
that  seemed  so  valuable  might  be  lost,  and  nothing  gained.  But 
what  was  to  be  done  ? 

It  was  during  this  period  that  the  Committee  of  Public  Safety 
held  a  secret  sitting.  It  took  place  on  the  2nd  September,  at 
eleven  o'clock  at  night,  and  was  held,  not  in  the  ordinary 
meeting-place  in  the  Tuileries,  but  at  the  house  of  Pache,  the 
Mayor  of  Paris. 

At  this  time,  there  was  residing  at  Genoa,  an  Englishman 
called  Francis  Drake,  through  whom  the  British  Government  was 
kept  informed  almost  daily  of  the  state  of  public  sentiment  in 
France.  This  Drake  forwarded  to  Lord  Grenville  the  reports  he 
received  from  Paris,  reports  that  were  actually  indited,  he 
declared,  by  a  secretary  of  the  Committee  of  Public  Safety. 

1  Perhaps  we  may  be  allowed  to  refer  the  reader  to  the  authentic  docu- 
ments connected  with  the  plot,  the  examinations,  inquiries,  &c. ,  published 
in  Le  Vrai  Chevalier  de  Maison  Rouge,  A.  D.  J.  Gonzze  de  Rougeville, 
1761-1814. 

2  Historical  Manuscripts  Commission.     The  MSS.  of  J.   B.   Fortescue, 
Esq. ,  preserved  at  Dropmore.     (Vol.  II. ,  p.  463. ) 

3  Ibid.    (Vol.  II.,  p.  487.) 

146 


THE   CONCIERGERIE 

This  tale  of  an  English  spy,  living  in  constant  correspondence 
with  the  members  of  the  revolutionary  government,  would  seem 
almost  incredible  if  the  documents  were  not  there  to  bear  evidence 
to  the  truth  of  the  amazing  melodrama. 

Now  this  spy  was,  so  to  speak,  present  during  the  following 
savage  and  horrible  scene  ;  the  souls  of  the  men  of  the  Terror 
were  laid  bare  before  him ;  he  heard  them  trafficking  in  heads 
and  trading  upon  the  fury  of  the  Parisian  mob  ;  and  alas  !  thanks 
to  this  informer  the  shameful  spectacle  was  witnessed  also  in  a 
foreign  land,  where  those  who  saw  it  rejoiced  that  France  had 
fallen  so  low. 

We  will  only  quote  from  the  minutes  of  this  long  sitting,  which 
lasted  throughout  the  night,  such  passages  as  bear  directly  on  the 
subject  with  which  we  are  concerned. 

"  The  insurrection  of  the  4th  and  5th  was  resolved  upon  in 
its  entirety.  The  arrest  of  2,250  citizens  at  Paris  was  decided 
upon  :  the  arrests  to  be  carried  out  by  the  revolutionary  army 
immediately  on  its  formation :  and  it  was  decreed  that 
Chantilly  and  Lisle- Adam  should  be  filled  with  prisoners 
because  it  would  be  easy  to  get  rid  of  them  there  quietly. 

"It  was  resolved  to  levy  a  hundred  millions  in  cash  and  a 
list  was  given  of  those  who  could  provide  the  money. 

"  It  was  resolved  that  the  Queen  should  die,  as  well  as  the 
followers  of  Brissot,  and  everyone  who  was  arrested  on  the 
31st  May. 

"  With  regard  to  the  Queen,  Cambon  remarked  that  Forgues 
said  negotiations  relating  to  her  were  going  on  with  Brussels, 
Vienna,  and  Prussia,  and  that  perhaps  it  might  be  possible  by 
threatening,  but  postponing  the  trial,  to  derive  considerable 
advantage  from  the  affair. 

"Herault,  Barrere,  Jean  Bon,  Saint  Andre,  and  Hebert 
rose  in  a  fury  to  oppose  this  proposition  :  declaring  that 
Louis  XVII.'s  life  fulfilled  this  object  in  every  particular ; 
that  the  Queen's  blood  was  necessary  as  a  means  of  associating 
the  Revolutional  Tribunal  with  the  Convention,  and  making 
the  town  of  Paris  a  partner  in  the  destinies  of  the  Convention, 
that  the  death  of  Capet  was  more  particularly  the  act  of  the 
Convention,  but  that  of  the  Queen  would  be  the  act  of  Paris 
and  of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal  and  army. 

147  L  2 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

"  Hebert  spoke  still  more  strongly. 

"  He  said :  '  I  have  promised  Antoinette's  head,  and  I 
shall  go  and  cut  it  off  myself  if  there  is  any  delay  about  giving 
it  to  me.  I  have  promised  it  in  your  name  to  the  sansculottes 
who  demand  it,  to  those  without  whom  you  would  cease  to 
exist.  The  republican  instinct  prompts  this  wish  of  theirs  to 
make  themselves  one  with  us  by  means  of  this  expiatory 
sacrifice  ;  and  yet  you  hesitate.  But  here  am  I,  and  I  will 
make  you  decide. 

" '  I  cannot  see  light  where  there  is  darkness,  nor  find 
roses  where  there  are  only  daggers. 

"  '  I  do  not  know  if  you  still  have  any  hope  of  a  Republic, 
or  a  Constitution,  or  of  safety  for  yourselves ;  but  I  do  know 
that  if  you  still  have  any  such  hope  you  are  greatly  deceived. 
You  will  all  die ;  it  cannot  be  otherwise. 

" '  I  do  not  know  whether  it  was  right  or  wrong  to  bring 
things  to  this  pass ;  but  that  is  how  things  are.  All  your 
generals  are  betraying  you,  and  they  will  all  go  on  betraying 
you,  and  I  should  be  the  first  to  do  so  if  I  were  your  general 
and  a  man  of  less  mark,  and  saw  a  good  treaty  to  be  made 
that  would  save  my  life  ;  but  be  sure  that  neither  Pache  nor 
I,  nor  any  of  the  King's  judges,  will  be  able  to  save  our  lives. 
That  could  only  be  done  by  changing  the  face  of  Europe.  It 
cannot  be  done  now. 

" '  The  Kings  will  injure  themselves  in  their  desire  to  crush 
us — who  shall  crush  them  in  twenty  years'  time.  But  none 
the  less  we  shall  die.  France  will  be  conquered.  .  .  We  shall 
all  die,  and  so  will  all  those  who,  like  us,  have  played  a  pro- 
minent part. 

" '  If  we  were  promised  an  amnesty  it  would  be  broken, 
simply  because  nothing  else  would  be  possible ;  you  would 
merely  be  stabbed  or  poisoned  instead  of  being  quartered. 
This  being  our  position,  then,  we  have  nothing  to  live  for  but 
revenge.  Our  revenge  may  be  immense.  When  we  die  let 
us  leave  the  germs  of  death  in  our  enemies,  and  in  France  such 
devastation  that  the  mark  of  it  will  never  be  obliterated.  To 
effect  this  you  must  satisfy  the  sansculottes ;  they  will  kill  all 
your  enemies,  but  you  must  keep  up  their  excitement  by  the 
death  of  Antoinette — that  is  for  them  ;  the  death  of  the 

148 


THE   CONCIERGEKIE 

Brissotins  is  for  us — and  by  pillaging  the  treasuries  of  our 
enemies. 

"  '  Remember  that  the  way  to  make  them  dare  everything 
is  to  persuade  them  of  the  truth  that  I  din  into  their  ears 
every  day  :  that  in  this  crisis,  whatever  the  event  may  be, 
their  obscurity  is  their  safeguard,  and  that  we  a.j  responsible 
for  everything.  Thus  they  will  help  us  heartily,  for  all  the 
profits  will  be  theirs  and  all  the  dangers  ours. 

" '  That  is  all  I  need  say  to  you  to  let  you  know  what  I 
think.1 

"  Having  said  this,  he  went  out,  without  a  moment's  delay. 

"After  he  left,  500,000  francs  were  given  to  Pache  for  the 
insurrection  of  the  4th,  in  assignats. 

"  The  public  prosecutor  of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal 
was  sent  for,  to  be  asked  what  he  intended  to  do  with  regard 
to  the  Queen. 

"  He  said  the  jury  must  be  renewed,  for  five  jurymen  were 
resolved  to  support  her ;  that  a  certain  amount  of  riot  would 
be  necessary  to  overcome  the  fear  of  the  Tribunal;  that 
Dobsent  was  nervous,  and  had  said  that  the  poisoning  of  the 
Queen  was  the  only  way  to  be  rid  of  that  thorn  in  the  side  : 
and  that  he,  the  public  prosecutor,  would  draw  up  the 
indictment  with  the  Committee  in  any  terms  they  chose."  1 

This  time  the  Queen's  fate  was  fixed  ;  and  all  the  more  that, 
in  the  very  hour  that  this  discussion  took  place,  the  Carnation 
Conspiracy  was  discovered  in  the  Conciergerie.  The  merest 
chance  had  prevented  the  escape  of  the  prisoner,  who  had 
actually  left  her  cell  and  was  awaited  in  the  Cour  du  Mai  by  a 
fictitious  patrolling-party. 

And  now  we  will  return  to  the  registrar's  office  in  the  prison 
of  the  Law  Courts,  and  to  the  hour  when  Marie  Antoinette 
arrived  there  in  the  night  of  the  2nd  August,  1793. 

1  Francis  Drake  to  Lord  Grenville.  Schedule  I.  Historical  Manuscripts 
Commission.  The  MSS.  of  J.  B.  For tescue,  Esq.,  preserved  at  Dropmore. 
(Vol.IL,p.  457.) 


149 


THE   NARRATIVE   OF   ROSALIE 
LAMORLIERE 

SERVANT     AT     THE     CONCIERGERIE 

(AUGUST — OCTOBER,  1793) 


THERE  is  no  need  for  us  to  introduce  Rosalie  Lamorliere.  The 
poor  girl  has  no  story,  or  rather,  her  whole  biography  is  contained 
in  the  few  pages  that  we  are  about  to  read. 

We  must,  however,  draw  attention  to  the  fact  that  Rosalie, 
being  quite  illiterate,  did  not  herself  write  her  account  of  the 
Queen's  last  days.  It  is  to  the  investigations  of  Lafont 
d'Aussonne  that  we  owe  this  interesting  narrative,  and  we  must 
guard  ourselves  from  too  implicit  a  belief  in  all  its  details.  For 
Lafont  d'Aussonne  was  the  author  of  a  history  of  Marie 
Antoinette ;  "  he  had  finished  the  siege,"  1  and  in  editing  the 
recollections  of  this  servant-girl  he  took  care  to  omit  everything 
that  did  not  concur  with  his  own  views.  It  is  even  possible  that 
he  added  a  few  apparently  insignificant  details  of  his  own,  which 
he  thought  might  be  useful  as  so  many  points  gained  for  his  own 
side. 

We  shall  be  obliged  to  return  to  this  subject  elsewhere,  so  we 
shall  not  interrupt  Rosalie's  story,  except  by  a  few  short  notes. 
We  shall  presently  show  that,  even  if  Lafont  d'Aussonne, 
voluntarily  or  otherwise,  made  some  mistakes  in  his  version,  the 
fundamental  part  of  the  tale  is  absolutely  authentic,  as  Rosalie 
herself  recognised  and  certified  later  on. 

1  The  historian  Vertot,  author  of  UHistoire  de  VOrdre  de  Malte,  on 
receiving  certain  special  information  with  regard  to  the  siege  of  Rhodes, 
said  he  was  sorry  he  could  make  no  use  of  it,  as  he  had  "finished  the 
siege." — (Translator's  Note.) 

150 


CapUR 


DES 


PETITE  COUH 
A     «n    coalrefea* 


PLAN  OF  PART  OF  THE 
CONCIERGERIE  IN  1793. 

Traced  in  accordance 
with  the  narratives,  evi- 
dence, and  memoirs  of 
Beugnot,  Riouffe,  Rosa- 
lie   Lamorliere,  Micho- 
nis,  Rougeville,  etc.,  etc., 
the     plans     of     the    Law 
Courts,   documents  in  the 
National  Archives,  etc. 


A.  Door  of  a  guardhouse  under- 

neath the  main  entrance  to 
the  Law  Courts. 

B.  Entrance  of  the  prison. 

a.  First  door. 

b.  Second  door. 

C.  Room    used  by    the   Gaoler 

Richard. 

D.  Spot  where  the  hair  of  con- 

demned  prisoners  was  cut 
off  and  sold. 

E.  Registrar's  Office. 

c.  Glazed  partition  or  wooden  grating. 

d.  Pigeon-holes  containing  the  dossiers. 

F.  The  back-office. 

e.  Bench. 

G.  Rooms  where  the  turnkeys  slept. 

H.  Council  Room  (Marie  Antoinette's   first 

cell). 
I.  Small  rooms  where  women  condemned  to 

death  spent  the  night. 
J.  Room  of    the  gendarmes  guarding   the 

Queen. 
K.  The  Queen's  second  cell 


THE  QUEEN'S  TWO  CELLS  IN  THE  CONCIERGERIE. 


151 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 


Declaration  of  Rosalie  Lamorliere,  Native  of  Breteuil  in 
Picardy,  Servant  in  the  Conciergerie  during  the 
Imprisonment  of  Marie  Antoinette. 

I  was  employed,  in  the  capacity  of  lady^s  maid,  by  Madame 
Beaulieu,  the  mother  of  the  celebrated  actor,  when  King 
Louis  XVI.  was  condemned  to  die  upon  the  scaffold. 
Madame  Beaulieu,  who  was  at  that  time  both  infirm  and 
ill,  nearly  died  of  grief  when  she  heard  he  had  been  con- 
demned, and  she  cried  out  over  and  over  again :  "  Unjust 
and  barbarous  people,  the  day  will  come  when  you  shall 
shed  tears  of  despair  upon  the  grave  of  this  good  King  ! " 

Madame  Beaulieu  died  soon  after  the  September  massacres1 ; 
and  her  son  then  confided  me  to  the  care  of  Madame  Richard, 
wife  of  the  gaoler  at  the  Law  Courts. 

At  first  I  felt  a  great  dislike  to  taking  a  situation  with  a 
gaoler ;  but  M.  Beaulieu,  who  was,  as  is  well  known,  a  good 
royalist,  and  in  his  legal  capacity  was  going  to  defend  the 
victims  of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal  without  any  fee, 
begged  me  to  accept  this  place  because,  he  said,  I  should 
find  opportunities  of  being  useful  to  numbers  of  worthy 
people  who  were  confined  in  the  Conciergerie.  He  promised 
to  come  and  see  me  as  often  as  he  could,  for  his  theatre, 
the  Theatre  de  la  Cite,  was  only  a  few  steps  away.2 

My  new  mistress,  Madame  Richard,  had  not  the  education 
of  Madame  Beaulieu,  but  she  had  the  same  gentleness  of  dis- 
position, and  as  she  had  been  a  dealer  in  ladies1  wardrobes 
she  was  naturally  inclined  to  cleanliness  both  in  her  house 
and  in  her  person. 

At  this  time  it  took  a  great  deal  of  capability  to  manage 
a  huge  prison  like  the  Conciergerie,  yet  I  never  saw  my 
mistress  perplexed.  She  answered  everyone  in  few  words ; 

1  This  gives  us  some  idea  of  Lafont  d'Aussonne's  method  of  working. 
If  Madame  Beaulieu  died  soon  after  the  massacres  of  September  (1792)  she 
cannot  have  nearly  died  of  grief  at  the  King's  execution  in  January,  1793,  as 
is  said  to  have  been  the  case  a  few  lines  back.     The  apostrophe  to  the 
unjust  and  barbarous  people,  then,  was  invented  by  Lafont  d'Aussonne. 

2  It  is  quite  true  that  the  theatre  in  which  Beaulieu  acted  was  at  the 
corner  formed  by  the  Rue   de  la  Vieille-Draperie  and  the  Rue  de  la 
Barillerie,  exactly  opposite  to  the  gate  of  the  Law  Courts. 

152 


NARRATIVE  OF  ROSALIE  LAMORLIERE 

she  gave  orders  with  absolute  clearness ;  she  never  slept  for 
more  than  a  few  minutes  at  a  time,  and  nothing  occurred 
within  or  without  the  prison  of  which  she  was  not 
immediately  informed.  Her  husband,  though  not  so 
capable  in  business  matters,  was  painstaking  and  hard- 
working. I  gradually  became  attached  to  this  family, 
because  I  saw  they  did  not  disapprove  of  the  pity  I  felt  for 
the  poor  prisoners  of  that  dreadful  time. 

After  dinner  on  the  1st  August,  1793,  Madame  Richard 
said  to  me  in  a  low  voice  :  "  Rosalie,  we  shall  not  go  to  bed 
to-night.  You  shall  sleep  on  a  chair.  The  Queen  is  going 
to  be  moved  from  the  Temple  to  this  prison."  Immediately 
afterwards  I  heard  her  giving  orders  for  General  Custine's 
removal  from  the  Council  Room,1  so  that  the  Queen  might  be 
put  into  it.  A  turnkey  was  despatched  to  the  store-keeper 
of  the  prison,  Bertaud,  who  lived  in  the  Cour  de  la  Sainte- 
Chapelle.  He  was  asked  for  a  folding  bedstead,  two 
mattresses,  a  bolster,  a  light  coverlet,  and  a  basin. 

This  slight  supply  of  furniture  was  placed  in  the  damp 
room  that  M.  de  Custine  was  leaving.  A  common  table  and 
two  prison  chairs  were  added.  Such  were  the  preparations 
made  to  receive  the  Queen  of  France. 

At  about  three  o'clock  in  the  morning  I  was  sitting  in  an 
arm-chair,  half  asleep,  when  Madame  Richard  pulled  my  arm 
and  woke  me  suddenly,  saying :  "  Come,  Rosalie,  come,  wake 
up  !  Take  this  candlestick — they  are  coming ! " 

I  went  downstairs,  trembling,  and  followed  Madame  Richard 
to  M.  de  Custine's  cell,  which  was  at  the  end  of  a  long  dark 
passage.  The  Queen  was  already  there.  A  number  of 
gendarmes  stood  before  her  door  on  the  outside.  Several 
officers  and  prison  officials  were  inside  the  room,  and  were 

1  Historians  have  not  been  able  to  agree  as  to  the  situation  of  this 
Council  Room,  and  have  given  up  trying  to  determine  where  it  was.  The 
enigma  seems  fairly  easy  to  solve,  however.  According  to  the  descriptions 
of  Rosalie  Lamorliere  and  other  eye-witnesses  the  entrance  to  this  room 
was  at  the  end  of  a  passage,  and  was  lighted  by  a  low  window  almost 
on  a  level  with  the  Cour  des  Femmes.  Well,  there  is  but  one,  and  judging 
by  the  old  plans  there  never  has  been  more  than  one,  room  in  the 
Conciergerie  that  answers  to  this  description.  It  is  now  the  canteen  of 
the  prison.  The  Queen  was  there  from  the  morning  of  the  3rd  August 
till  the  13th  or  14th  September,  that  is  to  say  for  forty  days. 

153 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

talking  together  in  low  voices.     The  day  was  beginning  to 
dawn. 

Instead  of  registering  the  Queen's  name  in  the  office  with 
the  glass  partition,  to  the  left  of  the  entrance-hall,1  they 
registered  it  in  her  cell.  This  formality  being  completed, 
everyone  went  out  except  Madame  Richard  and  myself,  who 
remained  alone  with  the  Queen.  The  weather  was  hot.  I 
remarked  the  drops  of  perspiration  that  ran  down  the 
Queen's  face,  which  she  wiped  two  or  three  times  with  her 
handkerchief.  She  looked  round  with  astonished  eyes  at  the 
horrible  emptiness  of  the  room,  and  with  a  certain  amount  of 
interest  at  the  gaoler's  wife  and  myself.  Then,  standing  on 
a  cloth-covered  stool  that  I  had  brought  her  from  my  room, 
the  Queen  hung  her  watch  upon  a  nail  that  she  saw  in  the 
wall,  and  began  to  undress  to  go  to  bed.  I  went  forward 
respectfully  and  offered  her  my  assistance.  "  No,  thank  you, 
my  good  girl,"  she  answered,  without  a  sign  of  sullenness  or 
pride  ;  "  since  I  have  been  without  anyone  to  help  me  I  have 
done  everything  for  myself." 

The  daylight  was  growing.  We  took  away  our  candles, 
and  the  Queen  lay  down  in  a  bed  that  was  certainly  very  unfit 
for  her,  though  we  had  at  least  provided  her  with  very  fine 
linen  and  a  pillow. 

When  morning  came  two  gendarmes  were  posted  in  the 
Queen's  room,  and  she  was  also  provided  with  a  servant  in 
the  person  of  a  woman  of  nearly  eighty  years  old,  who  was, 
as  I  have  learnt  since,  at  one  time  the  concierge  of  the 
Admiralty  Court  in  this  very  building  of  the  Law  Courts. 
Her  son,  who  was  about  twenty-four  or  twenty-five  years  of 
age,  was  one  of  the  turnkeys  of  our  prison.  (Her  name  was 
Lariviere.)  2 

During  the  first  forty  days  3  I  had  nothing  to  do  in  the 
Queen's  room.  I  only  went  there  with  Madame  Richard  or 
her  husband  to  carry  in  the  breakfast  at  nine  o'clock,  and  the 
dinner,  which  was  generally  at  two  o'clock  or  half-past. 
Madame  Richard  laid  the  table,  and  I,  to  show  my  respect, 

1  See  the  plan,  p.  151. 

2  See  page  238,  the  narrative  of  the  turnkey,  this  woman's  son. 

3  That  is  to  say,  until  the  13th  September  when  the  Queen  was  moved  to 
another  cell. 

154 


PASSAGE    LEADING    TO    THE    QUEEN'S   FIRST    CELL    IN   THE    CONCIERGERIE.- 
ACTUAL    CONDITION. — DRAWN    ON    THE    SPOT   BY    GERARDIN. 


155 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

stood  near  the  door.  But  Her  Majesty  deigned  to  notice 
this,  and  did  me  the  honour  of  saying :  "  Come  nearer, 
Rosalie ;  do  not  be  afraid." 

Old  Madame  Lariviere,  after  having  patched  and  mended 
the  Queen's  black  dress  very  neatly,  was  considered  unfit  for 
her  post.  She  returned  to  her  home  near  the  old  Admiralty 
Court,  and  was  at  once  replaced  by  a  young  woman  called 
Harel,  whose  husband  was  employed  in  the  police  depart- 
ment.1 

The  Queen  had  shown  confidence  in  the  old  woman,  and 
evidently  had  some  regard  for  her.  She  did  not  think  so 
well  of  her  successor,  and  hardly  ever  spoke  a  word  to  her. 

The  two  gendarmes  (who  were   always   the  same2)  were 

1  To  these  details  we  may  add  the  following  sketch,  drawn  by  another 
witness.      "During  the  early  days  of  the     month    of    August,    1793, 
a  turnkey  from  the  Conciergerie  came  to  fetch  me,  for  I  was  the  glazier 
employed  in  the  prison  and  the  Law  Courts.     He  told  me,  in  the  gaoler's 
name,  to  bring  two  panes  of  glass  of  a  medium  size,  and  to  follow  him 
without  delay. 

"  When  I  entered  the  large  vestibule,  where  I  heard  I  was  to  be  taken  to 
the  Queen's  cell,  I  was  seized  by  a  sudden  feeling  of  pity,  and  I  left  my 
hat  there,  so  as  to  appear  more  respectful. 

* '  When  I  went  into  her  cell,  which  was  a  little  low  room  of  about  fourteen 
feet  square,  I  saw  the  Queen  sitting  in  front  of  her  bed,  with  her  eyes 
fixed  upon  her  work.  Two  gendarmes,  armed  with  swords  and  muskets, 
were  in  the  opposite  corner,  with  their  faces  towards  the  Queen ;  and 
a  woman  of  the  people,  seated  between  the  Queen's  chair  and  the  door, 
fixed  her  eyes  upon  me  attentively. 

' '  While  I  was  putting  my  first  pane  into  one  of  the  window-frames  the 
sound  of  a  harp  came  from  the  upper  floors  of  the  prison.  Her  Majesty 
laid  down  her  work  and  listened  to  the  music,  which  seemed  to  please  her, 
I  thought.  Then  this  great  princess  said  to  me  :  '  Monsieur  le  vitrier,  do 
you  think  that  the  harp  we  hear  is  being  played  by  some  woman  in  the 
prison  ? ' 

"  '  Madame,'  I  answered  her  at  once,  '  the  person  who  is  playing  that 
instrument  does  not  belong  to  the  prison.  She  is  the  daughter  of  one  of 
the  registrars ' — I  was  about  to  add  '  of  one  of  the  tribunals  of  the  Seine,' 
but  the  woman  Arel,  with  a  look  of  great  irritation,  signed  to  me  in  an 
imperious  way  that  reduced  me  to  silence. 

"  The  Queen  saw  by  my  face  that  an  order  of  this  kind  had  been  con- 
veyed to  me.  She  did  not  say  another  word,  and  lowered  her  eyes." — 
(Deposition  of  the  Sieur  Orens.  Memoire  au  Roi,  by  Lafont  d'Aussonne, 
1825.) 

2  This  parenthesis  is  certainly  interpolated  by  Lafont  d'Aussonne.     We 
shall  see  how  important  it  was  for  him  that  these  gendarmes  should  have 
been  always  the  same.     As  Rosalie  had  given  their  names  as  Dufrene  and 
Gilbert  he  hoped  to  be  able  to  refute   the  believers   in    The    Queen's 
Communion  at  the  Conciergerie,  who  affirmed,  with  the  Abbe  Mangnin  as 
their  authority,  that  these  men  were  called  Prud'homme  and  Lamarche. 
It  is  quite  certain,  on  the  contrary,  that  the  gendarmes  who  guarded  the 

156 


NARRATIVE  OF  ROSALIE  LAMORLIERE 

called  Dufrene  and  Gilbert.  The  latter  seemed  rougher  than 
his  companion  the  corporal.  Sometimes  Her  Majesty,  in  her 
intense  weariness  of  doing  nothing,  would  go  up  to  them 
while  we  were  laying  the  table,  and  would  watch  them  playing 
cards  for  a  few  moments,  while  Madame  Richard  or  the  gaoler 
was  present. 

One  day  Madame  Richard  brought  into  the  cell  her 
youngest  child,  who  had  fair  hair,  very  pretty  blue  eyes,  and 
a  charming  face  that  was  much  more  refined  than  is  common 
in  his  class  of  life.  He  was  known  as  Fan/an. 

When  the  Queen  saw  this  fine  little  boy  she  was  obviously 
greatly  moved.  She  took  him  in  her  arms,  covered  him  with 
kisses  and  caresses,  and  bursting  into  tears  began  to  talk  to 
us  about  M.  le  Dauphin,  who  was  of  about  the  same  age. 
She  thought  of  him  night  and  day.  This  incident  was  most 
painful  to  her,  and  after  we  had  gone  upstairs  again  Madame 
Richard  told  me  nothing  would  induce  her  to  take  her  little 
boy  into  the  cell  again. 

About  the  middle  of  September  a  most  unfortunate  thing 
happened,  which  did  the  Queen  a  great  deal  of  harm.  An 
officer  in  the  army  called  M.  de  Rougeville  was  brought  into 
her  cell  in  disguise  by  a  municipal  officer  named  Michonis. 
The  former  (who  was  known  to  the  Queen)  dropped  a  carnation 
on  the  hem  of  her  skirt,  and  I  have  heard  it  said  that  the 
flower  concealed  a  paper  on  which  were  written  the  details  of 
a  conspiracy.  The  woman  Harel  saw  everything,  and  reported 
the  matter  to  Fouquier-Tinville,  who  came  into  the  prison 
every  night  before  twelve  o'clock.  The  two  gendarmes  were 
also  questioned.  The  Government  thought  there  was  a  wide- 
spread plot  in  Paris  for  helping  the  Queen  to  escape,  and 
immediately  issued  orders  that  were  more  severe  and  a  hundred 
times  more  terrible  than  any  previous  ones.  M.  Richard,  his 
wife,  and  their  eldest  son  were  confined  in  the  prisons  of 
Sainte-Pelagie  and  the  Madelonnettes.  The  woman  Harel 

prisoner  were  not  always  the  same.  We  shall  see  presently  that  Rosalie 
speaks  of  an  officer  being  on  guard  in  the  Queen's  room.  This  officer  was 
not  Gilbert,  who  was  an  ordinary  gendarme,  nor  yet  Dufrene,  whose 
functions  were  those  of  a  corporal.  Nor  were  Gilbert  and  Dufrene  on 
duty  on  the  morning  of  the  16th  October.  Moreover  Rosalie  says  later  on  : 
The  two  gendarmes  were  removed  from  the  Queen's  cell. 

157 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

disappeared.  The  two  gendarmes  were  removed  from  the 
Queen's  cell,  and  a  man  called  Lebeau,1  the  head  gaoler  at 
La  Force,  was  appointed  to  be  the  new  gaoler  at  the  Law 
Courts. 

At  first  sight  Lebeau  seemed  hard  and  stern,  but  he  was 
not  a  bad  man  at  heart.  The  directors  of  the  prison  told 
him  I  was  to  remain  there  in  his  employ  as  cook,  because  they 
had  no  reason  to  distrust  me,  and  I  meddled  with  nothing  in 
the  house  but  my  own  business.  They  added,  however,  that 
I  was  no  longer  to  go  to  market  as  in  Madame  Richard's 
time,  and  was  to  be  kept  within  the  confines  of  the  Con- 
ciergerie,  like  the  gaoler  and  his  young  daughter  Victoire 
(now  Madame  Colson,  living  at  Montfort  1'Amaury). 

It  was  decided  that  Lebeau  was  to  be  answerable  with  his 
life  for  the  Queen's  person,  and  that  he  alone  was  to  have  the 
use  of  the  key  of  her  cell.  He  was  never  to  enter  it  except 
when  absolutely  necessary,  and  then  was  always  to  be  accom- 
panied by  the  officer  of  constabulary  on  duty,  or  by  the 
corporal. 

A  sentinel  was  posted  in  the  little  Cour  des  Femmes^  which 
the  Queen's  room  overlooked,  and  as  her  two  little  windows 
were  nearly  on  a  level  with  the  pavement  the  sentinel,  as  he 
passed  to  and  fro,  could  easily  see  everything  that  took  place 
inside  the  room. 

Although  Her  Majesty  had  no  communication  with  anyone 
in  the  Conciergerie,  she  was  not  in  ignorance  of  the  misfortune 
that  had  befallen  her  first  gaoler  and  his  family.  Some 
members  of  the  Committee  of  General  Security  had  paid  her 
a  visit,  and  had  questioned  her  with  regard  to  Michonis  and 

1  Lafont  d'Aussonne  always  persisted  in  calling  Richard's  successor 
Lebeau.  His  name  was  Bault.  At  least,  he  signed  himself  so. 

It  was  on  the  1 1th  September  that  Richard  and  his  family  were  lodged  in 
the  Madelonnettes.  It  seems  certain  that  they  showed  great  devotion  to  the 
Queen.  Montjoye  writes  as  follows  :  "I  was  entirely  successful  in  gaining 
over  Richard,  whom  from  the  first  I  found  to  be  influenced  by  sentiments 
superior  to  his  condition  in  life.  I  persuaded  him  to  consent  to  every- 
thing I  could  desire  for  the  well-being  of  the  Queen.  I  began  by 
appointing  myself  librarian  to  the  Queen,  who,  as  I  shall  always 
remember,  declared  that  she  enjoyed  reading  the  most  appalling 
adventures.  .  .  .  The  Queen  began  by  reading  Un  Voyage  a  Venise, 
which  seemed  to  please  her  because  she  found  people  mentioned  in  it  whom 
she  had  known  in  her  childhood  at  the  Court  of  Vienna.  After  this 
she  embarked  upon  L'Histoire  des  Nauf rages  fameux." 

158 


NARRATIVE  OF  ROSALIE  LAMORLI&RE 

the  carnation,1  and  I  heard  that  she  had  answered  all  the 
questions  with  the  greatest  caution. 

When  Lebeau  entered  the  Queen's  room  for  the  first  time, 
I  went  with  him,  carrying  the  soup  that  Madame  usually  had 
for  breakfast.  She  looked  at  Lebeau,  who,  in  accordance 
with  the  fashion  of  the  day,  was  dressed  in  the  garment  called 
a  Carmagnole.  The  collar  of  his  shirt  was  open  and  turned 
back,  but  his  head  was  bare.  Holding  his  keys  in  his  hand, 
he  stood  close  to  the  wall  near  the  door. 

The  Queen  removed  her  night-cap,  took  a  chair,  and  said 
to  me  pleasantly :  "  Rosalie,  you  must  put  up  my  chignon 
for  me  to-day."  On  hearing  these  words  the  gaoler  ran 
forward,  seized  the  comb,  and,  pushing  me  aside,  said  in  a 
loud  voice :  "  Leave  it  alone,  leave  it  alone ;  that  is  my 
business."  The  Queen,  greatly  surprised,  looked  at  Lebeau 
with  an  air  of  indescribable  majesty.  "  I  thank  you,  no,"  she 
said  to  him.  Then,  rising  from  her  chair,  she  arranged  her 
hair  herself,  and  put  on  her  cap. 

Ever  since  she  had  been  in  the  Conciergerie  her  hair  had 
been  dressed  in  the  simplest  way.  She  parted  it  on  her  fore- 
head after  sprinkling  it  with  a  little  scented  powder.  Madame 
Harel  bound  the  hair  at  the  end  with  a  piece  of  white  ribbon 
about  a  yard  in  length,  knotted  the  ribbon  tightly  and  gave 
the  two  ends  of  it  to  Madame,  who  crossed  them  herself,  and 
by  fastening  them  on  the  top  of  her  head  gave  her  hair  the 
shape  of  a  loose  chignon.  Her  hair  was  fair,  not  red. 

On  the  day  that  she  declined  Lebeau's  help,  and  resolved 
in  future  to  arrange  her  hair  herself,  Her  Majesty  took  from 
the  table  the  roll  of  white  ribbon  that  was  left  over,  and  said 
to  me,  with  an  expression  of  melancholy  friendliness  that  went 
to  my  heart :  "  Rosalie,  take  this  ribbon,  and  keep  it  always 
in  memory  of  me."  The  tears  came  to  my  eyes,  and  as  I 
thanked  Madame  I  made  her  a  curtsey. 

When  the  gaoler  and  I  were  in  the  passage  he  took  posses- 
sion of  my  ribbon,  and  when  we  reached  his  room  upstairs  he 
said  :  "  I  am  very  sorry  to  have  annoyed  that  poor  woman, 

1  We  have  quoted  the  text  of  this  examination  in  Le  Vrai  Chevalier  de 
Maison-Rouge — A.  D.  J.  Gonzze  de  Rougeville.  We  venture  to  refer  the 
reader  to  that  work. 

159 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

but  my  position  is  so  difficult  that  the  least  thing  is  enough 
to  frighten  me.  I  cannot  forget  that  my  comrade  Richard 
and  his  wife  are  in  a  prison  cell.  In  heaven's  name,  Rosalie, 
do  nothing  imprudent,  or  I  am  lost." 

When,  during  the  night  of  the  2nd  August,  the  Queen 
arrived  from  the  Temple,  I  noticed  that  no  kind  of  under- 
clothes nor  other  garments  had  been  brought  with  her.  On 
the  morrow,  and  on  every  following  day,  this  unfortunate 
princess  asked  for  some  linen,  but  Madame  Richard,  fearing 
to  compromise  herself,  did  not  dare  to  lend  her  any,  or 
procure  any  for  her.  At  last  the  municipal  officer,  Michonis, 
who  was  a  good  fellow  at  heart,  went  to  the  Temple,  and  on 
the  tenth  day  a  parcel  was  brought  from  the  Tower.  The 
Queen  opened  it  without  delay.  It  contained  some  beautiful 
cambric  chemises,  some  pocket-handkerchiefs,  some  fichus, 
some  stockings  of  black  silk  or  filoselle,  a  white  wrapper  to 
wear  in  the  morning,  some  night-caps,  and  several  pieces  of 
ribbon  of  various  widths.  Madame  was  quite  touched  at  the 
sight  of  this  linen,  and  turning  to  Madame  Richard  and  me 
she  said :  "  From  the  careful  way  in  which  all  these  things 
are  arranged,  I  can  recognise  the  though tfulness  and  the  hand 
of  my  poor  sister  Elizabeth." 

When  Her  Majesty  came  to  the  prison  she  was  wearing  her 
large  mourning-cap,  her  widow's  headdress.  One  day  she  said 
to  Madame  Richard,  in  my  presence :  "  Madame,  I  should  be 
glad,  if  it  were  possible,  to  have  two  caps  instead  of  one,  so 
as  to  be  able  to  change.  Would  you  have  the  kindness  to 
give  my  headdress  to  the  sempstress  you  employ  ?  There  is, 
I  think,  enough  lawn  in  it  to  make  two  simple  caps." 

Madame  Richard  carried  out  the  Queen's  commission  with- 
out any  difficulty  ;  and  when  we  brought  her  the  two  perfectly 
simple  new  caps  she  seemed  satisfied  with  them,  and  turning 
to  me  was  good  enough  to  say :  "  Rosalie,  I  have  nothing 
now  that  I  can  give  away ;  but  I  should  like,  child,  to  give 
you  this  wire  frame  and  this  piece  of  lawn  that  the  sempstress 
has  returned." 

I  curtsied  humbly  as  I  thanked  Madame ;  and  I  still  have 
the  piece  of  lawn  that  she  did  me  the  honour  of  giving  me. 
I  showed  it,  twenty-nine  or  thirty  years  ago,  to  the  Boze 

160 


NARRATIVE  OF  ROSALIE  LAMORLIERE 

ladies  when  they  came  to  see  their  prisoner1  at  the  Con- 
ciergerie ;  and  they  covered  these  remnants  of  material  with 
tears  and  kisses.  The  Queen  suffered  from  one  great  privation. 
She  was  not  allowed  to  have  any  kind  of  needle,  and  she 
particularly  liked  occupation  and  work.  I  noticed  that  from 
time  to  time  she  pulled  out  the  coarse  threads  of  the  canvas 
that  served  as  a  wall-paper  and  was  nailed  along  the  walls  on 
wooden  frames ;  and  with  these  threads,  which  she  .polished 
with  her  hand,  she  made  a  kind  of  braid,  and  made  it  very 
evenly  too,  using  her  knee  for  a  cushion  and  some  pins  for 
needles. 

Her  taste  for  flowers  had  been,  by  her  own  confession,  a 
veritable  passion.  At  first  we  used  now  and  then  to  put  a 
bouquet  on  her  little  oak  table,  but  M.  Lebeau  did  not  dare  to 
countenance  this  indulgence.  He  was  so  much  afraid  of  me 
for  the  first  few  days  after  he  arrived  that  he  had  a  large 
screen  made,  seven  feet  high,  with  a  view  to  hiding  the 
prisoner  from  me  while  I  was  bringing  in  the  meals  or  clean- 
ing the  room.  I  saw  this  screen,  but  it  was  never  used  for 
this  purpose.  Lebeau  contented  himself  with  the  one  we 
gave  the  Queen  in  Madame  Richard's  time,  which  was  only 
four  feet  high.  This  was  used  as  a  kind  of  curtain  beside  the 
Queen's  bed,  and  separated  her  in  some  degree  from  the 
gendarmes  while  she  was  occupied  with  her  toilet,  which  the 
barbarity  of  those  in  authority  forbade  her  to  perform  in 
private  !  A  convict  called  Barassin  2  was  employed  for  part  of 
the  menial  work  in  her  room.  .  .  . 

When  she  rose  in  the  morning  she  put  on  some  little  low 
slippers,  and  every  second  day  I  brushed  her  pretty  black 
prunella  shoes,  whose  heels  were  made  a  la  Saint-Huberty, 
about  two  inches  high.  Sometimes  the  gaoler  was  called 
away  to  see  about  something  urgent  and  indispensable  in  con- 
nection with  the  prison,  and  at  such  times  he  left  me  in  the 
constabulary  officer's  charge.  One  day,  to  my  astonishment, 

1  Boze  was  a  painter  of  some  repute.     The  Boze  ladies  kept  up  their 
relations  with  Rosalie  Lamorliere  until  after  the   Revolution    of   1830. 
(Seepage  177.) 

2  I  believe  that  this  convict,  who  is  supposed  to  have  been  one  of  the 
moutons  of  the  Conciergerie,  that  is  to  say  one  of  the  spies  charged  with 
denouncing  the  prisoners,  was  a  relation  of  Madame  Richard.     For  her 
maiden  name  was  M.  A.  Barassin. 

161  M 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

this  officer  took  up  one  of  the  Queen's  shoes  himself,  and 
using  the  point  of  his  sword,  scratched  off  the  mildew  that 
came  from  the  damp  bricks,  as  I  was  myself  doing  with  my 
knife.  The  imprisoned  priests  and  nobles  watched  our  pro- 
ceedings from  the  yard,  through  the  grating  that  divided  us 
from  them.  Seeing  that  this  officer  of  constabulary  was  a 
good  fellow,  they  implored  me  to  come  close  to  them,  so  that 
they  might  see  the  Queen's  shoe  near  at  hand.  They  took  it 
from  me,  and  passing  it  from  hand  to  hand,  they  covered  it 
with  kisses. 

Madame  Richard,  on  account  of  a  law  that  had  just  been 
passed,  had  hidden  all  her  plate.  On  the  Queen's  table, 
therefore,  the  plates  and  dishes  were  of  tin,1  which  I  kept  as 
clean  and  well-polished  as  I  possibly  could. 

Her  Majesty  had  a  fairly  good  appetite.  She  cut  her 
chicken  in  two  :  that  is  to  say,  it  sufficed  her  for  two  days. 
She  stripped  the  bones  with  incredible  ease  and  care.  She 
never  left  any  of  the  vegetables  that  composed  her  second 
course. 

1  Dossier  F76711  in  the  National  Archives  contains  a  curious  letter, 
written  in  1816  by  the  Sieur  Dufengray,  private  secretary  to  the  Prefect  of 
the  Somme.  "In  1793,"  he  says,  "three  or  four  days  after  the  Queen's 
death,  the  too-famous  Chaumette,  Procureur  of  the  Commune  of  Paris, 
brought  to  Mdme.  Cornu,  a  woman  who  dealt  in  toys  and  turnery  in  the 
Rue  Saint-Barthelemy,  at  the  sign  of  the  Main  cTOr,  a  tin  plate  which  the 
Queen  had  used  at  her  meals  throughout  her  imprisonment  in  the 
Conciergerie,  and  on  which  she  had  written  in  circles,  from  the  centre  to 
the  circumference,  on  the  inside  in  Italian  and  on  the  outside  in  German. 
The  reason  Chaumette  took  this  plate  to  Mme.  Cornu  was  that  he  wished 
her  to  have  a  sort  of  tripod  made  to  hold  this  trophy,  which  was  then  to  be 
put  under  glass.  The  plate  was  with  Mme.  Cornu  for  an  hour,  at  the  end 
of  which  time  Chaumette  came  to  fetch  it  again,  saying  that  he  had 
changed  his  mind." 

On  receiving  this  letter  Louis  XVIII.  ordered  a  search  to  be  made.  The 
police  made  inquiries,  and  at  No.  34  Rue  des  Bernardins  found  Mme. 
Cornu,  extremely  old,  infirm  and  decrepit,  living  with  her  daughter. 
They  both  remembered  the  tin  plate,  which  was,  they  declared, 
covered  with  Greek  characters  traced  in  circles,  with  several  French 
words,  notably  these  :  Aux  meres  malheureuses.  Chaumette  had  brought 
it,  and  had  said  to  them  :  "  It  is  the  plate  used  by  the  Queen  in 
the  Conciergerie  ;  I  wish  to  keep  it ;  make  a  stand  for  it  so  that  it  can  be 
seen  on  both  sides."  And  at  the  same  time  he  ordered  a  vase,  in  which,  he 
declared,  the  ashes  of  a  great  man  (?)  were  to  be  kept.  The  plate  re- 
mained for  three  or  four  months  with  Mme.  Cornu  and  her  daughter 
without  their  taking  the  work  in  hand.  One  of  their  workmen  wished  to 
copy  the  characters  traced  by  the  Queen,  but  was  forbidden  to  do  so. 
Chaumette  came  back  about  a  week  before  his  death,  and  took  away  this 
precious  relic.  No  one  knows  v.  ho  became  possessed  of  it. 

162 


NARRATIVE  OF  ROSALIE  LAMORLIERE 

When  she  had  finished  she  said  grace  in  a  very  low  voice  ; 
then  rose,  and  began  to  walk  about.  This  was  the  signal  for 
our  departure.  After  the  affair  of  the  carnation  I  was  for- 
bidden to  leave  so  much  as  a  glass  at  her  disposal.  One  day 
M.  de  Saint-Leger,  the  American,  who  was  coming  from  the 
registrar's  office  and  was  on  his  way  to  the  yard  with  his 
companions,  noticed  that  I  was  carrying  a  glass  half  filled 
with  water.  The  Creole  said  to  me  :  "  Did  the  Queen  drink 
the  water  that  has  gone  from  this  glass  ?  "  I  answered  that 
she  did.  With  a  quick  gesture  M.  de  Saint-Leger  uncovered 
his  head  and  drank  the  water  that  remained,  with  every 
indication  of  respect  and  pleasure. 

Her  Majesty,  as  I  have  said  already,  had  neither  chest  of 
drawers  nor  cupboard  in  her  room.  When  her  little  stock  of 
linen  arrived  from  the  Temple  she  asked  for  a  box  to  put  it 
in,  to  keep  it  from  the  dust.  Madame  Richard  did  not  dare 
to  repeat  this  request  to  the  prison  authorities,  but  she  per- 
mitted me  to  lend  a  cardboard  box  to  the  Queen,  who 
welcomed  it  with  as  much  pleasure  as  if  she  had  been  given 
the  most  beautiful  piece  of  furniture  in  the  world. 

The  prison  system  at  that  time  did  not  allow  looking- 
glasses  to  be  supplied,  and  every  morning  Madame  repeated 
her  request  for  one.  Madame  Richard  permitted  me  to  lend 
my  little  glass  to  the  Queen.  To  offer  it  to  her  made  me 
blush,  for  the  mirror  had  been  bought  on  the  quays,  and  had 
cost  me  no  more  than  twenty-five  sous  in  assignats.  I  seem 
to  see  it  still.  It  was  edged  with  red,  and  had  Chinese  faces 
painted  on  each  side  of  it.  The  Queen  accepted  this  little 
glass  as  though  it  were  quite  an  important  affair,  and  Her 
Majesty  used  it  till  the  last  day  of  her  life. 

As  long  as  Madame  Richard  was  there  the  Queen's  meals 
were  prepared  with  care,  and  indeed  I  might  say  with  refine- 
ment. Everything  that  was  bought  for  her  was  the  best  of 
its  kind,  and  in  the  market  there  were  three  or  four  women 
who  knew  the  gaoler  well  by  sight,  and  gave  him  their 
tenderest  chickens  and  their  finest  fruit.  "  For  our  Queen,1' 
they  said  with  tears. 

After  Richard  and  his  family  were  sent  to  prison  we  no 
longer  went  to  market  ourselves,  but  the  tradespeople  came 

163  M  2 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

to  the  Law  Courts  and  spread  out  the  articles  of  food,  one  by 
one,  in  the  presence  of  the  police  and  the  corporal. 

The  Queen,  when  she  saw  the  new  kind  of  dinner  that  was 
prepared  for  her,  perceived  at  once  that  the  affair  of  the  car- 
nation had  changed  everything.  But  she  never  allowed  a 
word  of  complaint  to  escape  her.  I  brought  her  nothing  but 
her  soup  and  two  other  dishes.  (Every  day  there  was  a  dish 
of  vegetables,  and  this  was  followed  by  chicken  and  veal 
alternately.)  But  I  prepared  these  things  to  the  best  of  my 
ability.  Madame,  whose  love  of  cleanliness  and  daintiness 
was  excessive,  looked  at  my  table-linen,  which  was  always 
spotless,  and  seemed  to  be  thanking  me  mutely  for  my  con- 
sideration for  her.  Sometimes  she  gave  me  her  glass  to  fill. 
She  drank  nothing  but  water,  and  had  drunk  nothing  else  at 
Versailles,  as  she  sometimes  recalled  in  talking  to  us.  I 
admired  the  beauty  of  her  hands,  whose  charm  and  whiteness 
were  indescribable. 

Without  moving  the  table  she  took  up  her  position 
between  it  and  the  bed.  I  was  then  able  to  see  the  delicacy 
of  all  her  features,  which  were  clearly  visible  in  the  light  from 
the  window ;  and  one  day  I  noticed  here  and  there  a  few  very 
slight  marks  of  small-pox — so  slight  that  they  were  imper- 
ceptible at  a  distance  of  four  or  five  yards.  In  Lebeau's  time 
Madame  did  her  hair  every  day  in  his  presence  and  mine, 
while  I  was  making  her  bed  and  spreading  out  her  dress  on  a 
chair.  I  noticed  patches  of  white  hair  on  her  temples. 
There  was  none  on  the  top  of  her  head  nor  in  the  rest  of  her 
hair.  Her  Majesty  told  us  that  this  was  due  to  her  distress 
on  the  6th  October. 

Madame  de  Lamarliere,  who  is  still  alive  and  residing  in 
Paris,  begged  me  more  than  once  in  Madame  Richard's  time 
to  procure  some  of  the  Queen's  hair  for  her  to  put  in  a  locket. 
I  might  easily  have  done  this,  for  Her  Majesty  cut  her  hair 
from  time  to  time. 

After  the  affair  of  the  carnation  Madame  de  Lamarliere 
was  unable  for  a  long  time  to  obtain  permission  to  see  her 
husband,  who  was  a  prisoner. 

Before  the  disgrace  of  Richard's  family  the  Queen's  washing 
had  been  done  by  Madame  Saulieu,  our  ordinary  laundress, 

164 


NARRATIVE  OF  ROSALIE  LAMORLIERE 

whose  house  was  a  few  yards  from  the  Archbishop's  palace. 
After  the  unlucky  business  of  the  carnation  our  laundress  did 
not  come  any  more.  The  registrar  of  the  Revolutionary 
Tribunal  took  away  the  Queen's  personal  linen,  except  her 
caps  and  fichus,  and  it  seems  that  her  chemises  were  only  doled 
out  to  her  one  by  one  at  long  intervals.  .  .  She  asked  me 
privately  for  some  underlinen,  and  I  at  once  put  some  of  my 
chemises  under  her  bolster. 

On  the  fourth  day  after  her  arrival  at  the  Conciergerie  the 
prison  authorities  took  away  her  watch,  which  she  had 
brought  from  Germany  when  she  came  here  to  be  Dauphine. 
I  was  not  with  her  when  this  unpleasant  incident  took  place, 
but  Madame  Richard  spoke  of  it  in  our  room,  and  said  the 
Queen  had  wept  bitterly  when  she  was  made  to  give  up  this 
gold  watch. 

Fortunately  the  commissioners  did  not  know  that  she 
wore  a  very  valuable  oval  locket,  hung  round  her  neck, 
by  a  thin  black  cord.  This  locket  contained  some  of  the 
young  King's  curly  hair,  and  a  portrait  of  him.  It  was 
wrapped  in  a  little  yellow  kid  glove,  which  had  been  worn  by 
M.  le  Dauphin. 

The  Queen,  when  she  came  from  the  Temple,  had  still  two 
pretty  diamond  rings  and  her  wedding-ring.  The  two 
diamond  rings,  though  she  was  unconscious  of  the  fact, 
formed  a  sort  of  plaything  for  her.  As  she  sat  dreaming, 
she  would  take  them  off  and  put  them  on  again,  and  slip 
them  from  one  hand  to  the  other  several  times  in  a  minute. 
After  the  affair  of  the  carnation  her  little  room  was  in- 
spected several  times :  her  drawer  was  opened,  her  person 
searched,  and  her  chairs  and  table  overturned.  The  wretches 
who  did  this  saw  the  glitter  of  the  diamonds  in  her  two 
rings,  and  took  them  away  from  her,  telling  her  they  would 
be  returned  to  her  when  everything  was  over. 

After  this  she  was  liable  to  receive  unexpected  visits  of 
this  kind  in  her  cell  at  any  hour  of  the  day  or  night : 
and  the  architects  and  the  prison  authorities  were  perpetually 
coming  to  make  sure  that  the  iron  bars  and  the  walls  were 
perfectly  secure.  I  could  see  that  they  were  constantly 
in  a  state  of  perplexity.  They  said  to  each  other  :  u  Could 

165 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

she  not  escape  this  way,  or  escape  that  way?"  They 
allowed  neither  us  nor  themselves  a  single  moment  of 
relaxation. 

Their  fear  of  treachery  within  or  of  some  surprise  from 
without  kept  them  constantly  about  us  in  the  Conciergerie. 
They  ate  their  meals  unceremoniously  at  the  gaoler's  table, 
and  every  day  I  was  obliged  to  prepare  a  large  supply 
of  food  for  fifteen  or  eighteen  of  these  people. 

I  once  heard  Madame  Richard  say  :  "  The  Queen  does  not 
expect  to  be  tried.  She  still  hopes  her  relations  will  insist 
on  her  being  given  up  to  them  :  she  told  me  so  with  the  most 
charming  candour.  If  she  leaves  us,  Rosalie,  you  will  be  her 
lady's  maid  ;  she  will  take  you  with  her." 

After  the  affair  of  the  carnation  the  Queen  seemed  to 
me  to  be  anxious,  and  much  more  alarmed  than  before. 

She  thought  deeply,  and  sighed,  as  she  walked  to  and 
fro  in  the  cell.  One  day  she  noticed,  in  a  room  barred 
with  iron  opposite  to  her  own  windows,  a  prisoner,  a  woman, 
praying  with  clasped  hands  and  eyes  raised  to  heaven. 

"  Rosalie,"  said  this  noble,  good  princess  to  me,  "  look 
up  there  at  that  poor  nun  :  how  earnestly  she  is  praying  to 
God!" 

No  doubt  the  nun  was  praying  for  the  Queen.  The 
ladies  in  the  prison  spent  all  their  time  in  this  way. 

My  father  came  from  the  country  to  see  me.  As  no  one 
had  been  allowed  to  enter  the  prison  since  the  Carnation 
Conspiracy  he  had  the  greatest  difficulty  in  obtaining  leave 
to  see  me,  and  was  escorted  to  my  very  room.  M.  Lebeau 
said  to  him  :  "  I  am  forbidden  to  receive  visits  or  allow 
others  to  receive  them.  My  own  family  does  not  come  in 
here.  Do  not  be  more  than  four  or  five  minutes  with  your 
daughter, — and,  my  good  fellow,  do  not  come  again."  I  was 
not  even  able  to  offer  my  father  any  refreshment.  Showing 
him  a  fowl  that  was  on  the  spit  I  said  to  him  in  a  low  voice  : 
"That  is  for  the  poor  Queen,  whom  we  have  here."  My 
father  sighed  ;  and  we  parted. 

One  day  while  I  was  making  the  Queen's  bed  I  dropped 
the  day's  paper,  which  I  had  tucked  under  my  fichu ;  and  I 
discovered  what  I  had  done  when  we  were  upstairs  again 

166 


NARRATIVE  OF  ROSALIE  LAMORLIERE 

in  our  rooms.  I  was  greatly  troubled,  and  confessed  to  M. 
Lebeau  what  had  happened.  He  was  much  more  disturbed 
than  I,  for  he  was  naturally  timid.  "  Come  quickly,"  he  said, 
"  come  back  to  the  cell.  Take  that  bottle  of  fresh  water, 
which  we  will  change  for  the  other.  T  see  no  way  out  of 
this!" 

We  had  to  apply  to  the  gendarmes  again :  then  we  went 
into  the  Queen's  room,  and  I  found  my  newspaper,  which  she 
had  not  noticed. 

The  Queen,  who  had  suffered  much  discomfort  from  the 
heat  of  the  month  of  August,  suffered  equally  from  the  cold  1 
and  damp  of  the  first  fifteen  days  of  October. 

She  complained  of  it  in  her  gentle  way ;  and  as  for 
me,  I  was  mortally  distressed  that  I  could  do  nothing  to 
lessen  her  suffering.  I  never  failed  in  the  evening  to  take 
her  night-dress  from  under  the  bolster,  and  run  up  to  our  own 
room  to  warm  it  well.  Then  I  replaced  it  under  the  bolster, 
together  with  the  large  fichu  that  the  Queen  wore  at 
night. 

She  noticed  these  little  attentions,  which  were  the  natural 
outcome  of  my  loyalty  and  respect,  and  she  thanked  me 
for  them  with  a  glance  as  full  of  friendliness  as  if  I  had 
done  more  than  my  simple  duty.  She  had  never  been  allowed 
any  lamp  or  candle,  and  I  prolonged  as  much  as  possible 
the  various  little  preparations  for  the  night,  so  that  my 
revered  mistress  might  not  be  left  in  solitude  and  darkness 
until  the  latest  moment  possible.  As  a  rule  she  had  no  light 
by  which  to  go  to  bed  except  the  feeble  glimmer  of  the 
distant  lamp  in  the  Cour  des  Femmes. 

On  the  12th  October,  about  two  hours  after  she  had  gone 
to  bed,  the  judges  of  the  Tribunal  came  to  subject  her  to  a 
strict  examination  ;  and  the  next  morning,  when  I  went  to 
make  her  bed,  I  found  her  walking  rapidly  to  and  fro  in  her 
wretched  cell.  I  felt  as  though  my  heart  would  break,  and 
dared  not  let  my  eyes  dwell  on  her. 

1  When  Girard,  the  constitutional  curt  of  Saint- Landry,  went  into  the 
Queen's  cell  on  the  16th  October,  to  accompany  her  to  the  scaffold,  he 
found  her  quite  numb,  and  complaining  "that  her  feet  were  deadly  cold." 
Girard  advised  her  to  lay  her  pillow  upon  her  feet,  and  the  Queen  took  his 
advice. 

167 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

For  several  days  previous  to  this  she  had  no  longer  been 
alone.1  An  officer  had  been  put  into  her  cell  to  watch  her. 

At  last  that  terrible  day,  the  15th  October,  dawned.  By 
eight  o'clock  in  the  morning  she  had  gone  up  into  the 
Court  to  suffer  the  ordeal  of  her  trial,  and  as  I  do  not 
remember  taking  any  sort  of  food  to  her  on  that  day  it 
would  seem  that  she  was  made  to  go  up  there  fasting. 

During  the  morning  I  heard  some  people  discussing  the 
trial.  "  Marie  Antoinette  will  get  out  of  it,"  they  said ; 
"  she  answered  like  an  angel :  she  will  only  be  banished." 

At  about  four  o'clock  in  the  afternoon  the  gaoler  said  to 
me :  "  The  proceedings  are  suspended  for  three-quarters 
of  an  hour,  but  the  prisoner  will  not  come  down.  Go  up 
there  quickly  :  they  are  asking  for  some  broth." 

I  instantly  took  up  some  excellent  soup  that  I  was  keeping 
in  reserve  on  my  range,  and  went  up  to  find  the  Queen. 

As  I  was  on  the  point  of  entering  the  room  where  she  was 
a  superintendent  of  police  called  Labuzire,  a  little  man 
with  a  broken  nose,  snatched  the  bowl  of  soup  from  my 
hands  and  gave  it  to  his  mistress,  a  young  woman  who  was 
greatly  over-dressed.  "  This  young  woman,"  he  said  to  me, 
u  is  extremely  anxious  to  see  the  Widow  Capet,  and  this  is  a 
grand  opportunity  for  her  to  do  so."  Whereupon  the 
woman  went  off  carrying  the  soup,  half  of  which  was  spilt. 

It  was  in  vain  that  I  begged  and  implored  Labuziere  :  he 
was  all-powerful  and  I  was  obliged  to  submit.  What  must 
the  Queen  have  thought  when  she  received  her  bowl  of  soup 
from  the  hands  of  a  stranger  ! 

At  a  few  minutes  past  four  on  the  morning  of  the  16th 
October  we  were  told  that  the  Queen  of  France  was  con- 
demned. I  felt  as  though  a  sword  had  pierced  my  heart,  and 
I  went  to  cry  in  my  own  room,  smothering  my  groans  and 
sobs.  The  gaoler  was  grieved  to  hear  of  the  sentence,  but 
he  was  more  accustomed  to  such  things  than  I,  and  he 
affected  to  be  unconcerned. 

At  about  seven  o'clock  in  the  morning  he  told  me  to  go  down 

1  This  tends  to  prove  that  since  she  had  been  moved  into  her  new  cell, 
that  is  to  say,  since  the  13th  September,  the  Queen  had  no  longer  been 
watched  by  gendarmes. 

168 


NARRATIVE  OF  ROSALIE  LAMORLIERE 

to  the  Queen  and  ask  her  if  she  required  anything  to  eat. 
As  I  entered  the  cell,  where  two  lights  were  burning,  I 
perceived  an  officer  of  constabulary  sitting  in  the  left-hand 
corner,  and  as  I  drew  near  to  Madame  I  saw  she  was  stretched 
upon  her  bed,  dressed  all  in  black. 

Her  face  was  turned  towards  the  window,  and  she  was 
supporting  her  head  with  her  hand.  "  Madame,"  I  said  to 
her  tremblingly,  "you  ate  nothing  yesterday  evening,  and 
hardly  anything  during  the  day.  What  would  you  like 
to  have  this  morning?"  The  Queen  was  weeping  bitterly. 
She  answered  :  "I  shall  never  need  anything  again,  my  girl : 
everything  is  over  for  me."  I  took  the  liberty  of  persisting. 
"  Madame,"  I  said,  "  I  have  kept  some  broth  and  some 
vermicelli  on  the  range  :  you  require  support :  let  me  bring 
you  something." 

The  Queen,  weeping  still  more  bitterly  than  before,  said  to 
me  :  "  Rosalie,  bring  me  some  broth."  I  went  to  fetch  it. 
She  sat  up,  but  could  hardly  swallow  a  mouthful  or  two.  I 
declare  before  Heaven  that  she  took  no  more  nourishment 
than  that 

A  little  time  before  it  was  broad  daylight  a  priest 
came  to  the  Queen,  with  the  sanction  of  the  Government,  and 
offered  to  hear  her  confession.  Her  Majesty,  hearing  from 
himself  that  he  had  a  cure  in  Paris,  understood  that  he  had 
taken  the  oath,  and  refused  his  ministrations.  The  incident 
was  discussed  in  the  prison. 

When  it  was  daylight,  that  is  to  say  at  about  eight  o'clock  in 
the  morning,  I  went  back  to  Madame  to  help  her  to  dress, 
as  she  had  told  me  to  do  when  she  took  the  drop  of  broth 
sitting  on  her  bed.  Her  Majesty  went  into  the  little  space 
that  I  usually  left  between  the  folding  bed  and  the  wall. 
She  herself  unfolded  a  chemise  that  had  probably  been 
brought  to  her  in  my  absence,  and  having  signed  to  me  to 
stand  in  front  of  her  bed  so  as  to  hide  her  from  the  gendarme, 
she  stooped  down  behind  the  bed,  and  slipped  off  her  dress 
in  order  to  change  her  underlinen  for  the  last  time.  The 
officer  of  gendarmerie  came  forward  instantly,  and  standing 
by  the  head  of  the  bed  watched  the  Queen's  proceedings. 
Her  Majesty  quickly  threw  her  fichu  over  her  shoulders,  and 

169 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

with  the  greatest  gentleness  said  to  the  young  man  :  "  In  the 
name  of  decency,  monsieur,  let  me  change  my  linen  without 
being  watched." 

"  It  is  impossible  for  me  to  allow  it,"  answered  the  gen- 
darme roughly ;  "  my  orders  are  to  keep  my  eye  on  you, 
whatever  you  are  doing." 

The  Queen  sighed,  slipped  her  chemise  over  her  head  for 
the  last  time  as  cautiously  and  modestly  as  possible,  and  then 
dressed  herself,  not  in  the  long  black  dress  that  she  wore 
before  her  judges,  but  in  the  loose  white  gown  that  she 
usually  wore  in  the  morning.  Then,  unfolding  her  large 
muslin  fichu,  she  crossed  it  under  her  chin. 

I  was  so  much  disturbed  by  the  gendarme's  brutality  that 
I  did  not  notice  whether  the  Queen  still  had  M.  le  Dauphin's 
portrait,  but  I  was  glad  to  see  that  she  carefully  rolled  up 
her  soiled  chemise,  slipping  it  into  one  of  her  sleeves  as 
though  into  a  sheath,  and  then  squeezing  it  into  a  space 
that  caught  her  eye,  between  the  old  canvas  on  the  wall  and 
the  wall  itself. 

On  the  previous  day,  knowing  that  she  was  going  to 
appear  in  public  and  before  her  judges,  she  had  raised  her  hair 
a  little,  for  the  sake  of  appearances.  She  had  also  fastened  to 
her  lawn  cap,  with  its  little  plaited  trimming  at  the  edge,  the 
two  hanging  lappets  that  she  kept  in  the  cardboard  box  ;  and 
under  these  mourning  lappets  she  had  neatly  fastened  a  piece 
of  black  crape,  which  made  her  a  pretty  widow's  head-dress. 

To  go  to  the  scaffold  she  wore  only  the  simple  lawn  cap, 
with  no  lappets  nor  other  sign  of  mourning;  but  having 
only  one  pair  of  shoes1  she  kept  on  her  black  stockings  and 
prunella  shoes,  which  were  neither  out  of  shape  nor  spoilt, 
though  she  had  worn  them  for  the  seventy-six  days  that  she 
had  been  with  us. 

I  left  her  without  daring  to  say  a  word  of  farewell,  or 
make  a  single  curtsey  to  her,  for  I  feared  to  compromise 
or  distress  her.  I  went  away  to  my  own  room  to  cry,  and 
to  pray  for  her. 

1  M.  Campardon  observes  that  Rosalie  was  mistaken,  for  the  inventory 
taken  after  Marie  Antoinette's  death  mentions  one  pair  of  new  shoes  and 
two  pairs  of  old  ones. 

170 


NARRATIVE  OF  ROSALIE  LAMORLIERE 

When  she  had  left  this  hateful  building,  the  chief  usher 
of  the  Tribunal,  accompanied  by  three  or  four  men  employed, 
like  himself,  in  the  Courts,  came  to  the  gaoler  and  asked  for 
me.  He  told  me  to  follow  him  to  the  Queen's  cell,  where 
he  allowed  me  to  take  possession  of  my  looking-glass  and  my 
cardboard  box.  As  for  the  other  things  that  had  belonged 
to  Her  Majesty,  he  told  me  to  wrap  them  up  in  a  sheet. 
The  men  made  me  put  everything  into  the  bundle,  even 
a  straw  that  had  been  dropped,  I  do  not  know  how,  on 
the  floor  of  the  room ;  and  they  carried  off  these  wretched 
spoils  of  the  best  and  most  unhappy  princess  that  ever 
lived ! 

P.S. — About  ten  or  eleven  days  before  the  trial,  a  certain 
constabulary  officer,  in  whom  she  seemed  to  have  great  con- 
fidence, had  been  placed  on  guard  in  her  cell.  His  name  was 
de  Bune,  and  it  was  he  who,  during  the  trial,  took  her  a  glass  of 
water,  which  drew  down  upon  him  a  great  deal  of  persecution. 
He  was  arrested  and  tried. 

I  was  shown  a  portrait  of  him  a  little  time  ago,  in  a  room 
at  the  Quatre-Nations.  It  is  very  good — I  recognised  it 
instantly. 


171 


NOTES   BY 
MONSEIGNEUR   DE   SALAMON 

(1796) 

IN  the  Souvenirs  de  I' Internonce  a  Paris  pendant  la  Revolution1 
there  are  to  be  found  a  few  details  that  complete  the  story  of 
Rosalie  Lamorliere. 

Monseigneur  de  Salamon,  being  confined  in  the  Conciergerie 
in  1796,  renewed  there  his  acquaintance  with  the  gaoler 
Richard,  whom  he  had  known  in  the  days  of  the  old  regime, 
when  he  was  in  the  habit  of  inspecting  prisons  as  a  Commissioner 
of  the  Court. 

"  I  shall  have  to  make  you  sleep  under  lock  and  key,""  said 
this  good  fellow  to  me ;  "  but  during  the  day  you  can  be  in 
my  rooms,  you  can  have  your  meals  with  me,  and  you  can  see 
anyone  you  like,  as  long  as  you  tell  people  to  apply  to  me. 
.  .  .  And  you  shall  have  a  stove  in  your  room,  and  you  shall 
sleep  on  the  two  mattresses  of  that  poor  woman  " — he  meant 
the  Queen — "  who  died  on  the  scaffold.  .  .  .  They  cost  me  a 
great  deal,"  he  added  ;  "  it  was  for  having  bought  them  that 
I  had  six  months1  imprisonment  in  the  Madelonnettes." 

Richard's  cook  was  a  woman  who  deserved  to  live  in  a 
better  place  ;  ...  it  was  she  who  brushed  Her  Majesty's  boots 
every  morning.  "  And  they  were  so  dirty,"  she  said,  "  because 
of  the  dampness  of  the  prison,  that  one  would  have  thought 
the  Queen  had  just  been  walking  in  the  Rue  Saint-Honore." 

She  also  described  to  me  how  the  nobles  who  were  at  that 
time  imprisoned  in  the  Conciergerie  came  every  morning, 
1  Published  by  Plon. 

172 


NOTES  BY  MONSEIGNEUR  DE  SALAMON 

during  their  daily  walk,  to  kiss  the  shoes  of  that  unhappy 
princess. 

This  was  the  same  servant  who,  when  she  saw  that  the 
Queen  was  going  to  the  scaffold  without  either  cap  or  fichu, 
placed  on  her  head  a  cotton  cap  that  was  quite  new — for 
she  had  herself  put  it  on  for  the  first  time  that  morning, 
and  threw  her  own  handkerchief  round  the  Queen's 
shoulders.1  .  .  . 

I  secretly  confided  to  this  servant  how  much  I  recoiled  from 
the  idea  of  going  into  my  prison,  and  above  all  from  being  left 
in  there  under  lock  and  key.  She  lost  no  time  in  repeating 
this  to  her  master,  and  persuaded  him  to  have  the  door 
opened  at  daybreak. 

On  the  first  morning  that  I  benefited  from  this  measure  a 
pug  dog  came  into  the  room  as  the  door  opened,  and  after 
jumping  on  my  bed  and  exploring  it  all  over,  ran  out  again. 
This  was  the  Queen's  pug,  which  Richard  had  obtained  pos- 
session of,  and  treated  with  the  greatest  care.  The  dog's 
object  in  coming  in  like  that  was  to  smell  his  mistress's  mat- 
tresses. I  saw  him  behave  in  this  way  every  morning  at  the 
same  hour,  for  three  whole  months,  and  in  spite  of  all  my 
efforts  I  was  never  able  to  catch  him.  I  continued  to  spend 
the  evenings  with  Richard,  and  we  prolonged  our  conversa- 
tions until  far  on  into  the  night.  He  told  me  a  number  of 
very  interesting  anecdotes  about  the  victims  he  had  seen  go  to 
the  scaffold. 

It  would  take  too  long  to  repeat  them  here  ;  and  moreover 
I  have  forgotten  many  of  them.  I  remember,  however, 
having  heard  him  say  that  every  evening  the  gendarmes  had  a 
game  of  piquet  in  the  Queen's  presence.  Leaning  on  the  back 
of  a  chair  she  would  watch  them  play,  or  else  would  spend  this 
time  in  mending  her  pelisse  of  black  taffetas. 

Richard  often  went  to  see  the  Queen  and  ask  her  if  there 
were  nothing  she  required.  She  never  failed  to  express  her 
thanks  ;  only,  according  to  Richard,  she  was  a  little  too  solemn 
over  it. 

One  day  she  asked  him  if  he  had  ever  kept  a  hotel. 

1  This  excellent  woman  was  afterwards  employed  as  cook  by  the 
Marquise  de  Crequi. — (Note  by  Mgr.  de  Salamon.) 

173 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

"  Oh  dear,  no,  Madame  ! "  he  answered.  "  I  have  been  in 
prisons  almost  ever  since  I  was  born.1'' 

"  I  asked  because  everything  you  give  me  to  eat  is  excel- 
lent." 

"  I  admit,"  replied  Richard,  "  that  I  go  to  market  myself, 
and  buy  everything  of  the  best  that  I  can  find  there." 

"  Oh,"  answered  the  Queen,  u  how  kind  you  are,  Monsieur 
Richard ! " 

And  Richard  added  that  the  Queen's  favourite  dish  was 
duck. 


174 


THE   INQUIRY   OF 
MADAME   SIMON-VOUET 

(1836) 

WE  have  called  attention  to  the  fact  that  we  owe  the  narrative 
of  Rosalie  Lamorliere  to  the  pen  of  Lafont  d'Aussonne,  the  too- 
imaginative  biographer  of  Marie  Antoinette.  Our  distrust  of 
that  writer  is  so  great  that  we  should  have  hesitated  to  accept 
Rosalie's  story  if  we  had  not  been  in  a  position  to  prove  its 
authenticity. 

From  this  point  of  view  the  following  pages  are  doubly 
interesting ;  for  they  satisfy  us  as  to  the  truth  of  Rosalie 
Lamorliere's  preceding  narrative,  while  at  the  same  time  they 
give  us  a  glimpse  of  her  old  age. 

It  will,  no  doubt,  surprise  the  reader  to  learn  that  Marie 
Antoinette's  daughter  allowed  the  servant  who  helped  her 
mother  during  her  last  days  to  die  in  a  hospital.  Much  has  been 
said  of  the  proverbial  ingratitude  of  the  Bourbons.  Perhaps 
Rosalie  Lamorliere  may  be  regarded  as  exemplifying  it  and  being 
its  victim. 

And  yet  it  is  possible  that  we  ought  to  look  at  these  things 
from  a  wider  standpoint,  and  refrain  from  judging  the  past  in  the 
positive,  practical  spirit  of  our  own  time.  In  those  days  men 
devoted  themselves  to  their  King  as  we  devote  ourselves  now  to 
our  country ;  loyalty  and  duty  were  words  endowed  with  a 
definite  meaning,  which  admitted  of  no  discussion.  It  may  be 
that  these  gratuitous  sacrifices  aroused  nobler  feelings  than  the 
desire  for  promotion,  or  a  pension,  or  for  some  empty  honour. 

In  the  history  of  the  Revolution  we  find  many  examples  of 
these  fine  social  virtues.  How  many  royalists  died  for  the 
Monarchy — which  took  little  interest  in  them  and  from  which 
they  had  nothing  to  expect — with  a  calmness  that  was  not 

175 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

entirely  free  from  a  sort  of  fanaticism,  suggestive  of  the  faith  of 
the  early  martyrs  !  Rosalie  Lamorliere,  in  the  heart  of  a  servant, 
had  something  of  that  rare  disinterestedness  that  was  the  glory 
of  ancient  France.  Those  who  devoted  themselves  without  any 
thought  of  payment  were  the  best  of  all ;  and  such  was  this 
poor  girl.  Her  memory  is  less  injured  by  her  having  died  in  the 
hospital  than  it  would  have  been  had  her  last  years  been  spent 
in  the  managing  of  some  big  lottery-office,  post-office,  or  tobacco- 
shop.  None  the  less  I  should  have  preferred,  on  other  grounds, 
that  the  servant  who  shared  her  chemises  with  Marie  Antoinette 
had  not  been  reduced,  after  the  return  of  the  Bourbons,  to  living 
alone  in  a  state  that  bordered  on  destitution.  I  cannot  help 
thinking  of  that  good  girl  sewing  into  her  shroud  her  last 
remaining  relics  of  the  prisoner  of  the  Temple,  while  Lepitre 
who,  as  early  as  1793,  had  been  generously  paid  for  a  devotion 
he  had  not  shown,  was  parading  his  pseudo-loyalty  and  his 
imaginary  courage,  and  receiving,  as  a  reward  for  the  grand 
deeds  he  had  not  accomplished,  the  ribbon  of  the  Legion  of 
Honour. 

It  was  in  connection  with  a  book  that  appeared  in  1838  with 
the  title  :  Marie  Antoinette  devant  le  XIXe  siecle  that  Madame 
Simon- Vouet  undertook,  about  the  year  1835,  the  inquiry  of 
which  we  are  about  to  read  an  account. 


The  incompatibility  of  the  various  descriptions  of  Marie 
Antoinette's  imprisonment  in  the  Conciergerie,  and  the 
incredibility  of  the  romantic  episodes  narrated  by  most  of 
the  writers  on  the  subject,  decided  me  to  confine  myself  to 
the  facts  that  came  out  in  the  trial,  and  to  the  incomplete 
but  truthful  revelations  of  the  counsel  for  the  Queen. 

To  do  this  was  to  leave  an  immense  gap  in  my  work  ;  but 
nevertheless  I  was  determined  not  to  fill  it  up  with  the 
fictitious  or  forged  papers  that  had  appeared  in  connection 
with  this  interesting  period  in  Marie  Antoinette's  life.  At 
this  time  I  had  not  seen  the  documents  supplied  to  M.  Lafont 
d'Aussonne  by  Rosalie  and  Lariviere  the  turnkey. 

While,  in  my  perplexity,  I  was  recalling  the  memories  of 
my  youth,  it  occurred  to  me  that  when  I  was  a  schoolgirl  at 
Dijon  with  Madame  le  Jolivet,  whose  husband  had  died  on 
the  scafibld  and  had  been  confined  in  the  Conciergerie  at  the 

176 


INQUIRY  OF  MADAME  SIMON-VOUET 

same  time  as  the  Queen,  I  had  heard  that  lady  speak  warmly 
of  the  humane  way  in  which  Richard  the  gaoler  and  his 
wife  treated  the  prisoners  confided  to  their  care.  ...  I  used 
to  delight  in  questioning  Madame  le  Jolivet  about  the  Con- 
ciergerie,  and  I  learnt  from  her  that  Madame  Richard  often 
allowed  the  prisoners  to  meet  their  relations  and  have  meals 
with  them  in  a  little  back-room  in  her  own  quarters  ;  and  it 
was  to  the  kindness  of  this  excellent  woman  that  Madame  le 
Jolivet  owed  the  sad  comfort  of  seeing  her  husband  up  to  the 
very  last.  In  the  course  of  these  frequent  visits  she  had 
been  struck  with  the  faultless  beauty  of  Madame  Richard's 
young  cook,  and  the  former  had  told  her  in  confidence  that, 
as  the  Queen  had  been  greatly  attracted  by  this  poor 
village  girl  whose  attentions  were  so  delicately  shown,  she 
had  kept  her  to  wait  on  the  royal  prisoner,  for  whom 
Rosalie  was  always  able  to  devise  some  slight  diversion. 
These  recollections  prompted  me  to  make  repeated  inquiries, 
both  in  Paris  and  Versailles,  with  regard  to  the  Richard 
family  ;  but  all  I  learnt  was  that  Madame  Richard  had  been 
murdered  by  a  prisoner  whose  life  had  just  been  saved  by 
her  exertions,  and  that  after  her  death  the  beautiful  cook 
had  left  the  Conciergerie. 

However,  I  heard  by  chance  from  a  man  who  was  employed 
in  the  palace  of  Versailles  that  Madame  Boze,  who  had  lived 
in  the  palace  till  the  revolution  of  July,1  was  in  the  habit  of 
speaking  admiringly  of  the  way  the  cook  at  the  Conciergerie 
had  behaved  to  the  Queen,  and  said  this  girl  was  the  only 
creature  whose  heroic  devotion  had  at  all  alleviated  the 
Queen's  sufferings  during  the  seventy-five  days  that  she  spent 
in  the  Conciergerie.  Madame  Boze  had  known  the  Richard 
family  and  Rosalie  during  the  time  of  her  husband's  con- 
finement in  the  prison ;  she  had  kept  in  touch  with  them 

1  "The  palace  of  Versailles  contained  (under  the  Restoration)  an  entire 
population.  The  King  granted  rooms  there  to  his  old  servants,  and  to 
people  with  good  recommendations.  In  addition  to  the  Governor,  who 
naturally  had  his  own  quarters,  there  was  a  large  number  of  families,  and 
one  could  easily  pay  twenty  visits  within  the  walls  of  the  building.  These 
rooms  were  a  little  douceur  presented  to  people  who  were  ruined  by  the 
Revolution.  They  lived  there  in  peace,  and  were  protected  by  the  majesty 
of  the  place.  ...  I  knew  many  of  these  worthy  people,  and  remember 
them  perfectly." — (Mdmoires  des  autres,  by  the  Comtesse  Dash.) 

177  N 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

after  the  country  had  become  more  settled  ;  but  she  had  left 
Versailles,  and  my  informant  did  not  know  where  she  and  her 
two  daughters  had  gone. 

With  nothing  more  definite  than  these  vague  clues  I 
applied  to  the  mairie  of  Versailles,  and  two  days  later, 
owing  to  the  prompt  and  obliging  inquiries  of  M.  Varinot, 
the  assistant-secretary,  I  learnt  that  Madame  Boze  lived  in 
the  village  of  Auteuil.  I  repaired  thither  on  the  following 
day. 

No  sooner  did  Madame  Boze  and  her  excellent  daughters 
understand  the  object  of  my  visit  than  they  began  to  talk  to 
me  with  the  confidence  of  old  friends,  and  gave  me  several 
details  of  the  Queen^s  first  years  at  Versailles.  .  .  . 

As  for  the  Conciergerie,  Madame  Boze  told  me  that  the 
cook,  Rosalie  Lamorliere,  was  living  in  the  Hospital  for 
Incurables,  in  the  Rue  de  Sevres,  where  I  could  question  her 
myself.  .  .  .  One  might  find  materials  for  an  extremely 
interesting  work  in  the  details  that  Madame  Boze  gave  me 
with  regard  to  this  heroic  girl  Rosalie,  who  had  neither 
education  nor  money,  nor  interest,  and  yet  exhibited  the 
noblest  virtues  in  spite  of  her  obscurity. 

Leaving  Madame  Boze  and  her  daughters  at  Auteuil,  I 
proceeded  at  once  to  the  Hospital  for  Incurables.1  The 
porter,  whom  I  asked  for  Rosalie  Lamorliere,  told  me  that 
she  went  out  every  morning  and  did  not  return  till  the 
hour  at  which  the  provisions  were  served  out.  He  added 
that  Rosalie  had  no  intercourse  with  the  people  in  the 
house,  never  spoke  to  anyone,  did  not  even  respond  to  the 
civilities  of  her  companions,  and  would  probably  refuse  to 
enter  into  conversation  with  me. 

This  information  was  anything  but  encouraging;  but 
nevertheless,  as  it  was  past  eleven  o'clock,  I  determined  to 
wait  for  the  first  distribution  of  food,  which  was  to  take 
place  at  twelve,  and  meanwhile  to  walk  to  and  fro  before 
the  main  entrance  of  the  hospital.  Soon  I  noticed  a 
number  of  good  old  dames  walking  as  fast  as  their  crutches 
would  carry  them,  and  showing  by  their  haste  and  their 

1  Madame  Simon-Vouet's  visit  to  the  Hospital  for  Incurables  took  place 
on  the  1st  December,  1836. 

178 


INQUIRY  OF  MADAME  SIMON- VOUET 

anxious  faces  that  they  were  afraid  of  being  late ;  but  not 
one  of  these  could  possibly  be  Rosalie.  At  last,  at  five 
minutes  to  twelve,  I  saw  a  woman  come  out  of  the  little  Rue 
Saint-Romain  and  walk  towards  the  hospital.  She  was  as 
poorly  clad  as  those  who  had  come  before  her,  but  her 
fastidious  neatness  was  singularly  striking.  In  figure  she  was 
slight  and  tall ;  her  steps  were  smooth  and  regular,  and  com- 
bined with  her  air  of  serenity  gave  a  touch  of  solemnity  to 
her  gait.  As  she  drew  near  to  me  her  thoughtful  expression, 
which  indicated  an  abstraction  so  profound  that  no  external 
emotion  could  touch  her,  made  me  very  sure  that  this  was 
Rosalie  ;  so  I  went  forward,  and  begged  her  to  grant  me  a 
few  minutes1  conversation  in  the  hospital  on  a  matter  of 
important  business.  I  hoped  that  this  might  rouse  her 
curiosity,  and  I  felt  almost  humiliated  when,  after  glancing 
at  me  indifferently,  she  said  coldly,  without  even  condescend- 
ing to  stand  still :  "  You  are  mistaken,  madame  :  /  have  no 
business."  "  Oh,  no,"  I  cried,  holding  her  back,  "  your  name 
is  Rosalie  Lamorliere ;  it  is  not  of  you  that  I  wish  to  speak  ; 
for  pity's  sake  do  not  refuse  what  I  ask ! "  I  do  not  know 
what  significance  I  put  into  these  words,  but  Rosalie  faltered, 
and  turned  upon  me  a  look  so  piercing  that  I  should  have 
been  disconcerted  if  my  actions  had  been  prompted  by  mere 
curiosity.  "Very  well,  come  with  me,  madame,"  she  said, 
allowing  me  to  keep  her  hand,  which  I  had  seized  lest  she 
should  escape  me. 

When  I  entered  her  tiny  room  I  recognised  the  same 
neatness  and  care  that  had  struck  me  so  much  in  Rosalie's 
person.  She  gave  me  a  chair,  and  remained  standing  before 
me  as  though  waiting  for  my  questions  ;  but  I  was  entirely 
occupied  in  scrutinising  her  striking  and  still  beautiful 
features,  which  were  so  little  altered  by  time  that  I  should 
have  guessed  her  to  be  barely  fifty  years  old.  Rosalie 
evidently  was  conscious  that  for  the  moment  my  attention 
was  fixed  upon  her,  for  my  silent  scrutiny  seemed  to  cause 
her  some  embarrassment.  She  recovered  herself,  however, 
and  said  to  me,  with  an  air  of  indescribable  gentleness  and 
emotion  :  "  It  is  about  the  Conciergerie,  is  it  not,  madame, 
that  you  wish  to  speak  to  me  ?  "  I  was  delighted  that  she 

179  N  2 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

had  divined  my  object,  and  described  to  her  my  interview 
with  the  Boze  ladies,  who  had  known  her  at  the  Conciergerie ; 
and  I  expressed  my  desire  to  hear  from  her  own  mouth  the 
details  of  all  she  had  actually  seen  in  that  prison,  my  sole 
aim  being  the  Queen's  vindication,  which  I  was  at  that  time 
making  my  business.  "  I  shall  be  happy,"  she  answered, 
"  to  do  as  you  wish  ;  but  I  warn  you  that  I  can  add  nothing 
to  the  statements  I  have  already  made  to  M.  Lafont 
d'Aussonne,  one  of  the  Queen's  biographers,  who  recorded  my 
story  with  the  greatest  accuracy,  though  I  can  neither  read 
nor  write." 

As  it  was  from  this  statement  that  we  derived  most  of  the 
details  concerning  the  Conciergerie,  we  will  omit  from  ou** 
dialogue  with  Rosalie  everything  that  has  already  been 
recorded  elsewhere. 

MYSELF. 

...  It  must  have  been  with  the  greatest  interest  that 
the  august  daughter  of  Marie  Antoinette  listened  at  the 
Tuileries  to  what  you  had  to  tell  her,  for  had  it  not  been  foi 
you  she  would  never  have  known  of  the  strength  and  heroism 
with  which  those  seventy-five  days  of  martyrdom  were 
endured. 

ROSALIE. 

I  am  still  enjoying  the  bounty  of  Madame  la  Duchesse 
d'Angouleme,  though  I  have  never  been  able  to  thank  her  for 
it ;  and  I  would  gladly  have  renounced  all  the  benefits  that 
have  been  heaped  upon  me  for  the  sake  of  one  sight  of 
Madame*  s  daughter. 

I  noticed  that  Rosalie,  in  referring  to  Marie  Antoinette, 
never  called  her  anything  but  Madame,  and  I  asked  her 
whether,  while  she  was  waiting  on  the  Queen,  she  had  not 
addressed  her  otherwise.  "  No,"  she  answered.  "  And  yet, 
as  I  was  often  alone  with  Her  Majesty,  I  might  have  addressed 
her  as  my  sovereign  ;  but  I  shrank  from  everything  that 
could  recall  her  vanished  greatness.  I  even  always  concealed, 
in  her  presence,  the  admiration  with  which  her  sublime  courage 
inspired  me.  Alas  !  I  would  gladly  have  served  her  on  my 
knees,  and  yet  I  made  a  point  of  being  no  more  outwardly 
respectful  to  her  than  to  my  mistress,  Madame  Richard." 

180 


INQUIRY  OF  MADAME  SIMON- VOUET 

MYSELF. 

I  have  been  told  that  the  benefits  heaped  upon  you  by 
Madame  la  Duchesse  d'Angouleme  were  limited  to  your 
admission  into  this  institution,  and  a  pension  of  two  hundred 
francs  which  you  lost  at  the  revolution  of  July. 

ROSALIE. 

True  :  but  as  I  have  done  nothing  to  merit  it  I  consider 
myself  very  fortunate  to  be  here  for  life,  and  beyond  the 
reach  of  want. 

MYSELF. 

You  have  not  the  least  notion  of  how  heroic  your  devotion 
was.  This  does  not  surprise  me,  as  I  had  been  told  it  was 
the  case ;  but  tell  me,  Rosalie,  did  not  the  friends  who 
appealed  to  Madame  la  Dauphine  on  your  behalf  try  to 
recover  your  little  pension  for  you,  by  interesting  the  prin- 
cesses of  the  present  royal  family  in  you  ? 

ROSALIE. 

Such  an  idea  would  not  have  occurred  to  them  any  more 
than  to  me,  for  I  have  no  claim  to  so  remarkable  a  favour  as 
that. 

MYSELF. 

Queen  Marie  Antoinette  was  described  to  the  people  as  a 
violent,  vindictive  woman.  Did  you  observe  any  signs  of  the 
character  that  was  attributed  to  her,  during  the  cruel  treat- 
ment to  which  she  was  subjected  in  the  Conciergerie  ?  Did 
she  seem  inspired,  as  many  of  her  enemies  have  written  that 
she  was,  by  any  thought  or  desire  of  revenge  upon  her 
persecutors  ? 

ROSALIE. 

I  never  heard  her  complain  either  of  her  fate  or  of  her 
enemies,  and  the  calmness  of  her  words  was  always  consistent 
with  that  of  her  appearance.  There  was,  however,  in  this 
calmness  of  deportment  something  so  deeply  impressive  that 
Madame  Richard,  and  the  gaoler  Lebeau,  and  I,  whenever  we 
entered  her  room,  stood  awe-struck  at  the  door,  and  dared 
not  approach  her  till  she  begged  us  to  do  so  in  her  gentle 
voice  and  gracious  manner. 

181 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

MYSELF. 

Did  she  speak  of  Louis  XVI.'s  death,  and  did  she  seem  to 
fear  the  same  fate  ? 

ROSALIE. 

She  said  she  was  fortunate,  but  I  had  reason  to  think  she 
imagined  that  she  and  her  children  would  be  sent  to  Austria. 

MYSELF. 

This  persistent  calmness  of  which  you  speak — did  it  not 
arise  from  a  sort  of  moral  collapse  or  insensibility,  the  effect 
of  her  sufferings  and  long  imprisonment  ? 

ROSALIE. 

She  was  extremely  sensitive,  and  never  failed  to  notice  our 
most  insignificant  attentions.  She  carried,  concealed  beneath 
her  stays,  a  portrait  of  the  young  King  and  a  curl  of  his 
hair,  wrapped  up  in  a  little  yellow  kid  glove  that  the  child 
had  worn ;  and  I  noticed  that  she  often  hid  herself  behind 
her  wretched  truckle-bed  to  kiss  these  things  and  weep  over 
them.  One  could  speak  to  her  of  her  misfortunes  and 
circumstances  without  her  showing  any  emotion  or  depression, 
but  she  wept  continually  at  the  thought  of  her  deserted 
children.  During  the  ill-health  that  arose  from  the  critical 
state  of  her  nerves,  and  ended  only  with  her  life,  she  begged 
us  not  to  apply  for  any  medical  aid  for  her,  since  no  doctor 
could  remove  the  cause  of  her  illness.  She  was  searched 
several  times  at  the  Conciergerie,  and  the  watch  she  wore  on 
a  very  beautiful  chain  round  her  neck  was  cruelly  taken  from 
her.  Only  a  few  days  before  her  death,  however,  she  was 
still  in  possession  of  the  locket  containing  the  young  King^s 
portrait.  I  do  not  know  what  became  of  it. 

MYSELF. 

Is  it  true,  as  certain  authors  of  repute  have  declared  in 
writing,  that  the  Queen  washed  and  mended  her  own  linen  in 
the  Conciergerie  ? 

ROSALIE. 

She  would  have  thanked  Heaven  if  such  a  favour  had  been 
granted  her.  But  she  was  condemned  to  the  most  complete 

182 


INQUIRY  OF  MADAME  SIMON-VOUET 

inactivity,  and  though  she  never  complained  I  saw  that  she 
suffered  a  great  deal  from  this  state  of  idleness. 

MYSELF. 

Several  people  have  boasted  of  having  corrupted  the  gaoler 
and  carried  in  various  kinds  of  comforts  to  the  Queen  during 
her  last  hours.  May  one  put  any  faith  in  their  assertions  ? 

ROSALIE. 

No;  for  even  if  they  could  have  won  over  the  gaoler 
Lebeau,  the  most  timid  and  nervous  of  men,  the  courts  and 
passages  were  filled  with  guards.  Fouquier-Tinville  and  his 
agents,  moreover,  entered  the  Queen's  cell  at  any  hour  of  the 
day  or  night,  and  relentlessly  made  her  rise  on  the  pretext  of 
searching  her  bed,  and  upset  all  her  things. 

MYSELF. 

Did  you  see  Marie  Antoinette  again  after  she  was  con- 
demned to  death  ? 

ROSALIE. 

I  went  down  to  her  cell  by  Lebeau's  orders  at  about  seven 
o'clock.  Two  candles,  still  alight  but  nearly  burnt  out,  were 
on  her  little  table :  I  presume  they  had  been  left  there  for 
her  all  night.  The  Queen  was  lying  on  her  bed  in  her 
clothes;  she  was  still  wearing  her  long  black  dress.  A 
constabulary  officer  was  seated  in  the  farthest  corner  of  the 
room,  and  seemed  to  be  asleep.  I  approached  Madame 
tremblingly,  and  begged  her  to  take  some  broth  that  was 
quite  ready  on  my  range.  She  raised  her  head,  looked  at 
me  with  her  customary  gentleness,  and  answered  with  a  sigh : 
"  No,  thank  you,  my  girl :  I  need  nothing  more."  And  then 
as  I  turned  away  crying,  either  because  she  was  afraid  she 
had  distressed  me,  or  because  she  wished  to  see  me  again  for 
the  last  time,  she  called  me  back  to  say :  "  Very  well,  then, 
Rosalie,  bring  me  your  broth  ! " 

MYSELF. 

And  did  she  take  the  broth  when  you  brought  it  ? 

183 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

ROSALIE. 

Only  a  spoonful  or  two.  Then  she  begged  me  to  help  her 
to  dress.  She  had  been  told  not  to  wear  her  mourning, 
because  it  might  excite  the  people  and  make  them  insult 
her ;  but  we  in  the  prison  thought  the  real  reason  was  that  it 
was  feared  her  position  as  the  King's  widow  might  excite 
interest.  The  Queen  made  no  objection,  and  prepared  her 
white  morning  wrapper.  She  had  also  contrived  to  have 
a  clean  chemise  to  die  in,  and  I  saw  she  meant  to  appear, 
as  she  had  appeared  on  the  day  of  her  trial,  as  decently 
dressed  as  was  possible  in  her  state  of  complete  destitution. 
When  she  was  about  to  undress  she  slipped  into  the  space 
between  the  wall  and  the  truckle-bed,  so  as  to  be  out  of  the 
officer's  sight ;  but  that  young  man  came  forward  insolently, 
and  leant  his  elbows  on  the  pillow  in  order  to  look  at  her. 
The  Queen  blushed  deeply,  and  hastily  covered  herself  with 
her  large  fichu ;  then,  clasping  her  hands,  she  turned  beseech- 
ingly to  the  officer.  "  Monsieur,"  she  cried,  "  in  the  name 
of  decency  let  me  change  my  linen  without  being  watched ! " 

MYSELF. 

The  man  must  have  felt  very  much  ashamed  of  his 
behaviour  ? 

ROSALIE. 

On  the  contrary,  he  answered  roughly  that  his  orders  were 
not  to  lose  sight  of  the  prisoner  for  an  instant.  The  Queen 
raised  her  eyes  to  heaven,  and  then  looked  at  me  without 
uttering  a  word,  for  I  was  accustomed  to  understand  her 
every  glance,  and  I  took  up  my  position  so  as  to  hide  her  as 
much  as  possible  from  the  eyes  of  the  officer.  Then,  kneeling 
behind  her  bed,  with  every  precaution  that  her  modesty  could 
suggest,  her  Majesty  succeeded  in  changing  her  clothes  with- 
out even  uncovering  her  shoulders  or  arms. 

When  she  was  completely  dressed  she  glanced  round  her 
room  with  an  expression  of  great  anxiety,  as  though  seeking 
something  that  she  feared  she  would  not  find.  I  was  trying 
in  vain  to  guess  the  cause  of  her  anxiety  when  I  saw  her 
carefully  fold  up  the  soiled  chemise  she  had  just  taken  off, 

184 


INQUIRY  OF  MADAME  SIMON-VOUET 

wrap  it  closely  in  one  of  her  sleeves,  and  then  with  a  look  of 
intense  satisfaction  slip  the  little  bundle  into  a  hollow  space 
that  she  had  caught  sight  of  in  the  wall,  behind  a  strip  of 

the  canvas. 

- 

Rosalie  showed  me  the  shroud  into  which  she  had  sewn 
the  scraps  of  lawn  given  her  by  Marie  Antoinette  ;  and  when 
I  had  touched  these  sacred  relics  with  my  lips,  and  clasped  in 
my  arms  the  poor  creature  whose  strong  soul  and  heroic 
spirit  were  dimly  visible  through  the  obscurity  of  her 
position,  I  left  the  hospital,  with  a  heart  full  of  admiration 
and  sadness. 

As  I  left  Versailles  at  the  beginning  of  1838,  and  retired 
to  a  place  in  the  country  a  hundred  leagues  from  Paris,  it 
was  impossible  for  me  to  see  Rosalie  again,  as  I  had  hoped 
and  intended  ;  but  before  I  went  away  my  husband  was  able  to 
ascertain  that  she  was  still  alive,  and  enjoying  perfect  health 
in  the  Hospital  for  Incurables. 


185 


THE  NARRATIVE  OF  MADAME  BAULT 

WIDOW   OF   THE   GAOLER   AT  THE   CONCIEBGERIE   PRISON 

(SEPTEMBER  HTH — OCTOBER  16™,  1793) 

WHEN  the  Revolution  broke  out  my  husband  was  the  gaoler 
of  the  prison  of  La  Force.  I  shared  his  labours  and  brought 
up  my  children  at  his  side.  We  witnessed  the  massacres  of 
September  2nd  and  3rd.  He  was  fortunate  enough  to  be 
the  means  of  saving  nearly  two  hundred  prisoners,  and  he 
escaped  with  them.  But  to  our  sorrow  we  were  unable  to 
prevent  the  death  of  the  most  illustrious  of  the  victims  who 
perished  on  those  fatal  days.1 

The  murderers  took  possession  of  our  house,  our  furniture, 
and  our  provisions,  and  as  our  object  was  to  avoid  seeing  the 
horrors  by  which  they  disgraced  themselves  in  our  presence 
we  abandoned  to  them  everything  that  belonged  to  us.  At 
last,  when  nothing  was  left  for  them  to  destroy,  they  went 
away. 

My  husband  returned  to  his  post,  and  soon  the  prison  was 
filled  with  all  the  faithful  subjects  of  the  King  and  the 
legitimate  Monarchy,  whose  opinions  made  them  suspicious 
characters  in  the  eyes  of  the  revolutionary  tyrants.  We 
determined  to  deceive  the  tyrants  and  alleviate  the  lot  of  the 
unfortunate  prisoners,  and  sometimes  our  efforts  were  not 
in  vain. 

At  the  time  when  the  Queen  was  removed  from  the  Temple 

to  the  Conciergerie,  a  lady  who  came  to  La  Force  to  bring 

little  comforts  to  one  of  the  prisoners   knew  that  we  were 

acquainted  with  Michonis,  one  of  the  inspectors  of  police  at 

1  Madame  de  Lamballe. 

186 


NARRATIVE   OF   MADAME   BAULT 

that  time.  She  confided  to  my  husband  her  intention  of 
persuading  the  inspector  to  introduce  into  the  Queen's  cell  a 
certain  Chevalier  of  Saint-Louis  who  wished  to  offer  her  his 
services.  Michonis  was  a  man  of  honour  and  was  full  of 
enthusiasm,  and  received  the  suggestion  favourably.  The 
lady  asked  us  to  dine  at  her  country-house  at  Vaugirard.1 
The  brave  Chevalier  was  present,  and  all  the  preparations 
were  made  to  carry  out  the  scheme.  Michonis  undertook  to 
secure  Richard's  consent.  The  interview  took  place  as  it  was 
described  at  the  time,  and  I  shall  not  repeat  the  details, 
which  neither  I  nor  my  husband  witnessed,  and  which,  more- 
over, have  been  recorded  in  hundreds  of  other  writings.  To 
our  great  distress  this  self-sacrificing  and  courageous  deed 
failed  in  its  object.  I  never  saw  the  lady  again,  nor  the 
Knight  of  Saint-Louis,  and  in  the  course  of  the  twenty-four 
years  that  have  passed  since  we  parted  I  have  forgotten  their 
names.  I  have  reason  to  believe  they  are  no  longer  alive,  for 
it  seems  likely  that  they  would  have  lost  no  time  in  coming 
forward,  now  that  heaven  has  granted  us  happier  times  at  last. 

Michonis  was  discharged  from  his  post  and  put  into  prison. 
We  were  very  anxious,  my  husband  and  I,  on  account  of  the 
revelations  he  might  have  made ;  but  his  loyalty  and  dis- 
cretion were  unfailing,  and  it  is  only  right  to  pay  this  tribute 
to  his  memory.  Some  time  afterwards  he  died  on  the 
scaffold,  not  ostensibly  on  account  of  this  affair,  but  in 
connection  with  an  alleged  conspiracy  in  the  prison,  in  which 
he  was  accused  of  being  concerned. 

It  was  not  long  before  Richard's  dismissal  followed.  We 
were  told  of  it  by  another  inspector  of  police  called  Dangers, 
who  was  equally  our  friend.  He  added  that  there  was  some 
talk  of  replacing  Richard  by  the  horrible  man  Simon.  My 
husband  shuddered  at  the  bare  idea,  and  determined,  on  the 
spot,  to  propose  himself  for  the  post  of  the  Queen's  gaoler. 
We  had  the  honour  at  that  time  of  knowing  M.  Hue  and 
M.  Clery,  and  we  informed  them,  separately,  of  our  design, 
in  which  they  encouraged  us.  Dangers  undertook  to  see 
that  our  request  was  granted,  and  my  husband  was  installed 
in  the  Conciergerie  on  the  llth  September,  1793. 

1  It  was  a  girl  called  Dutilleul,  Rougeville's  mistress. 

187 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

When  he  entered  the  Queen's  room  she  said  to  him,  with 
the  graciousness  that  never  forsook  her  to  the  hour  of  her 
death  :  u  Ah,  here  you  are,  M.  Bault !  I  am  delighted  that 
it  is  you  who  have  come  here."  My  husband  had  never  had 
the  honour  of  being  in  Her  Majesty's  presence,  and  could  not 
conceive  by  what  miracle  she  could  have  heard  of  a  trans- 
action that  had  been  so  promptly  and  secretly  carried  out. 
We  regarded  the  whole  series  of  circumstances  as  a  boon 
especially  ordained  by  Providence.  It  made  me  happy  to 
know  that  our  attentions  would  be  favourably  received, 
and  we  redoubled  our  efforts  to  make  them  also  useful. 
We  asked  no  greater  reward.  If  there  were  others  who 
did  not  shrink  from  putting  a  price  on  their  services,  it  was 
well  known  that  my  husband's  devotion  was  inspired  by 
motives  too  lofty  to  be  affected  by  mercenary  aims. 

It  may  easily  be  imagined  that  the  adventure  of  Michonis 
and  Richard  had  caused  the  prison  rules  to  be  carried  out 
much  more  strictly  than  before.  My  husband  was  told  that 
the  accused,  like  the  other  prisoners,  was  to  be  supplied  with 
the  coarsest  prison  fare.  "  I  can't  allow  that,"  he  answered  ; 
"  she  is  my  prisoner,  and  I  am  answerable  for  her  with  my 
life ;  some  attempt  might  be  made  to  poison  her,  and  no  one 
but  myself  must  arrange  about  her  meals.  Not  a  drop  of 
water  shall  come  in  here  without  my  permission."  This  was 
considered  reasonable,  and  thenceforward  I  and  my  daughter 
were  responsible  for  the  meals.  They  were  nothing  re- 
markable, but  they  were,  at  least,  wholesome  and  decent. 
The  Queen  was  no  longer  given  dirty  water  in  an  unwashed 
glass,  as  had  hitherto  been  the  brutal  and  insolent  custom. 
We  gave  especial  attention  to  this  point,  with  regard  to 
which  she  was  extremely  fastidious. 

There  were  still  some  kind  hearts  left  that  were  not 
insensible  to  pity.  A  market-woman  came  one  day  to  bring 
my  husband  a  melon  for  her  good  Queen.  Another  offered 
some  peaches.  Everything  reached  its  proper  destination, 
but  to  avoid  being  blamed  it  was  necessary  to  be  very 
cautious. 

Similar  incidents  had  already  taken  place  in  Richard's 
time,  according  to  M.  Hue. 

188 


189 


NARRATIVE  [OF   MADAME   BAULT 

I  never  entered  the  Queen's  room  throughout  the  whole 
time  that  my  husband  was  in  charge  of  her.  In  order  to 
appear  more  particular}  he  had  made  a  rule  that  I  was  not 
to  go  in,  and  had  reserved  to  himself  alone  the  right  of  doing 
so.  Moreover,  he  was  always  accompanied  by  two  gendarmes, 
who  watched  his  every  movement.  The  worst  kind  of  men 
were  always  carefully  chosen  to  escort  him.1  Often  the 
inspectors  of  police,  or  the  public  prosecutor,  or  even  some  of 
the  members  of  the  Comitc  de  Surete  Generate  would  come 
themselves  on  a  visit  of  inspection.  It  was  then  that  the 
most  odious  searches  took  place.  One  day  they  caught  sight 
of  an  old  piece  of  carpet  that  had  been  fastened,  by  my 
husband's  orders,  along  the  Queen's  bed  to  keep  out  the 
dampness  of  the  wall,  and  they  expressed  their  dissatisfaction. 
"But  don't  you  see,"  said  my  husband,  "that  its  object  is  to 
deaden  the  sound,  and  prevent  anything  from  being  heard  in 
the  next  room  ?  "  They  were  greatly  struck  by  his  intelligence. 
"  Quite  right,"  they  said  ;  "  you  did  well."  To  deceive  these 
wretches  it  was  necessary  to  talk  as  they  did. 

The  unhealthiness  of  the  room  was  such  that  Her  Majesty's 
black  dress,  the  only  one  she  had  as  a  change  from  the  white 
dress  she  brought  from  the  Temple,  fell  to  pieces.  My 
eldest  daughter,  whom  I  lost  five  years  ago,  put  a  new  hem 
to  it.  I  gathered  up  the  old  scraps  and  gave  them  away  to 
several  people  who  eagerly  begged  me  for  them. 

My  daughter  was  kept  constantly  employed  in  mending 
linen  and  other  garments,  stockings,  and  shoes,  which  wore 
out  completely.  The  care  of  the  room,  and  everything  to  do 
with  it,  was  entrusted  to  her  ;  she  alone  was  allowed  to  enter 
for  this  purpose  ;  and  it  was  also  her  office  to  arrange  the 
Queen's  simple  coiffure  every  day — a  duty  from  which  she 
was  not  exempted  even  in  the  very  hour  of  the  final  martyr- 
dom. I  remember  all  these  details  as  though  the  objects 
connected  with  them  were  still  before  me.  The  Queen  had 
only  three  fairly  fine  chemises,  of  which  one  was  trimmed 
with  very  beautiful  Mechlin  lace. 

They  were  given  to  her,  one  at  a  time,  every  ten  days. 

This  matter  was  attended  to  by  the  registrar's  office  of  the 

1  They  were  not,  then,  always  the  same,  as  Lafont  d'Aussonne  declared. 

190 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

Revolutionary  Tribunal.  No  one  would  have  dared  to 
increase  the  precise  number  of  her  garments  by  so  much  as 
a  handkerchief.  The  Queen  occupied  herself  in  writing  out 
a  list  of  her  linen  on  the  wall  with  the  point  of  a  pin.  She 
also  wrote  other  things  there,  but  immediately  after  her 
departure  a  thick  coat  of  paint  was  put  over  everything, 
and  so  it  was  all  effaced. 

I  have  laid  stress  on  these  details — which  may  seem  too 
minute — in  order  to  show  how  useless  and  insane  it  would 
have  been  to  attempt  to  supply  the  Queen  openly  with  the 
least  thing  in  addition  to  what  was  provided  by  the  odious 
prison  rules.  That  people  who  were  brave  and  charitable, 
but  also  retiring  and  unknown,  may  have  succeeded  in  taking 
her  some  object  of  the  first  importance,  especially  if  it  were 
inconspicuous,  I  am  as  ready  to  believe  as  though  I  had  seen 
it — although  it  was  before  we  went  to  the  Conciergerie — 
because  not  only  is  the  story  quite  credible,  but  it  is  founded 
on  unexceptionable  evidence.  But  that  anyone  should  have 
succeeded  in  supplying  her  with  a  large  quantity  of  luxuries, 
or  even  of  ordinary  comforts,  it  is  impossible  to  imagine. 
The  articles  would  not  have  reached  their  destination  ;  they 
would  have  vanished  in  the  office  of  the  Revolutionary 
Tribunal.  The  gaoler  himself  would  not  have  been  able,  with- 
out the  greatest  danger,  to  secure  the  smallest  portion  for  his 
prisoner.  A  single  incident  will  suffice  to  show  how  com- 
pletely it  would  have  been  beyond  his  power. 

The  Queen  had  wished  to  have  an  English  cotton  counter- 
pane. My  husband  undertook  to  speak  to  Fouquier-Tinville 
about  it.  "  How  dare  you  ask  for  such  a  thing  ?  "  cried  the 
monster,  foaming  at  the  mouth  with  rage.  "  You  deserve  to 
be  sent  to  the  guillotine.11  We  were  filled  with  consternation. 
We  provided  the  best  substitute  we  could  for  the  coverlet,  and 
I  had  a  mattress  made  of  the  best  wool  I  could  find,  and 
replaced  the  prison  mattress  with  it.  It  would  be  impossible 
to  me  to  be  false  to  the  truth,  or  to  boast  of  what  I  did  not 
do,  or  rather  of  what  I  was  not  able  to  do. 

It  has  been  my  lot  to  see  pious  resignation  and  heroic 
constancy  carried  to  the  pitch  of  perfection,  but  there  is  no 
disguising  the  fact  that  it  was  Heaven's  will  that  the  Queen 

191 


/* 

/b 


NARRATIVE   OF  MADAME   BAULT 

of  France  should  drink  the  cup  of  sorrow  to  the  dregs,  and  I 
shall  never  cease  to  regret  that  I  did  so  little  to  temper  its 
bitterness.  Alas  !  we  could  not  save  her  life,  but  we  at  least 
endeavoured  that  her  last  moments  might  be  undisturbed, 
and  her  royal  person  safe  from  every  insult. 

In  the  meantime  my  husband  was  trying,  with  the  most 
eager  solicitude,  to  divine  the  Queen's  smallest  wishes.  He 
devised  various  pretexts  for  visiting  her  more  frequently. 
She  had  entrusted  him  with  the  care  of  her  hair,  and  he 
arranged  it  every  morning  as  best  he  could. 

If  the  most  respectful  care  could  have  taken  the  place  of 
skill  the  Queen  would  have  been  satisfied,  and  as  it  was  she 
was  good  enough  to  appear  so.  She  took  this  opportunity 
to  say  a  few  of  those  kind  things  that  none  could  express 
more  gracefully  than  she.  One  day  she  said  to  him,  in 
allusion  to  his  name :  "  I  am  going  to  call  you  bon,  because 
that  is  what  you  are,  and  it  is  worth  even  more  than  being 
beau  (Bault)."  Another  time,  as  she  thanked  him,  she  added : 
"  I  shall  never  be  fortunate  enough  to  reward  you  for  what 
you  do  for  me.""  She  never  failed  to  ask  him  for  news  of  her 
children  and  of  Madame  Elizabeth.  Sometimes  my  husband 
was  able  to  answer  her  when  he  had  news  through  M.  Hue, 
who  had  kept  up  a  correspondence  with  the  Temple,  and 
had  the  courage,  too,  to  make  his  way  into  the  Conciergerie 
rom  time  to  time.  Her  goodness,  her  sweetness,  her  sensi- 
bility, combined  with  so  much  courage,  moved  us  to  tears. 
We  were  glad  when  we  were  able  to  weep  in  the  solitude  of 
our  own  rooms,  for  it  would  have  been  imprudent  to  show 
any  emotion  before  the  savage  satellites  of  the  Commune, 
who  haunted  us  throughout  the  day. 

The  Queen,  surrounded  as  she  was  by  many  dangers,  was 
always  afraid  of  compromising  the  people  who  seemed  to 
take  an  interest  in  her  fate.  She  was  obliged  to  control  her 
features,  her  words,  and  even  her  slightest  gestures.  A  glance, 
a  word,  a  sign,  would  have  sufficed  to  make  her  suspected  of 
an  understanding  with  her  faithful  guardian,  and  all  would 
have  been  lost.  But  one  day  she  thought  she  had  sufficient 
mastery  over  her  own  movements  to  slip  into  my  husband's 
hand,  without  being  seen,  something  that  she  had  secretly 

192 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

prepared.  The  action,  however,  was  either  not  prompt  enough 
or  not  sufficiently  concealed,  and  the  two  gendarmes,  perceiving 
it,  sprang  upon  my  husband,  crying  in  a  fury :  "  What  has 
she  just  given  you  ?"  He  was  obliged  to  open  his  hand  and 
show  what  had  just  been  put  into  it.  It  was  a  pair  of  gloves 
and  a  lock  of  hair,1  which  were  instantly  seized  and  taken  to 
Fouquier's  office. 

We  did  not  doubt  that  the  Queen  intended  these  things 
to  be  given  to  her  children,  and  we  shared  to  the  full  her 
disappointment  on  this  occasion. 

But  the  Queen  was  not  discouraged,  for  a  mother's  heart  is 
ingenious  and  its  strength  is  increased  by  sorrow.  The  idea 
came  to  her  to  draw  out  some  of  the  threads  of  the  carpet 
attached  to  her  bed,  and  with  them  to  plait  a  kind  of  garter 
with  the  help  of  two  tooth-picks,  the  only  implements  that 
her  wretched  persecutors  had  left  to  her,  for  they  had  refused 
to  allow  her  knitting-needles.  When  the  work  was  done  she 
let  it  drop  one  day  at  her  feet,  as  my  husband  was  entering 
her  room.  He  instantly  divined  the  Queen's  intention,  and 
as  he  went  quickly  towards  her  pulled  out  his  handkerchief, 
which  seemed  to  slip  from  his  hand.  It  covered  the  garter, 
and  he  picked  up  both  together.  We  kept  this  precious  plait 
religiously,  till  I  gave  it  to  M.  Hue  when  he  was  about  to 
accompany  Her  Royal  Highness  Madame  to  Vienna.  He 
gave  it  to  her  when  he  joined  her  at  Huningue,  as  he  was 
good  enough  to  record  in  his  work  entitled:  Dernieres  annees 
du  regne  et  de  la  vie  de  Louis  XVI,  page  352. 

In  order  that  the  gendarmes  might  no  longer  stay  in  the 
Queen's  room,  where  they  spent  the  day  drinking  and  playing 
cards  and  smoking,  with  nothing  between  her  and  them  but  a 
screen  that  divided  the  room  into  two  parts,  my  husband, 

1  As  early  as  March  22nd,  1814,  the  Gazette  de  France  recorded  this 
incident,  which  I  had  described  long  before  to  the  writer  of  the  article. 
In  1816  the  gloves  and  the  lock  of  hair  were  discovered  in  Courtois'  house 
with  the  Queen's  letter,  and  thus  Providence  allowed  the  truth  of  my 
assertions  to  be  verified  by  events.  These  two  articles  had  passed  from 
Fouquier's  hands  into  those  of  Robespierre,  and  Courtois  had  found  them, 
together  with  the  letter,  in  Robespierre's  house  when  his  papers  were 
searched.  Courtois  did  not  mention  this  discovery  in  his  report ;  he  held 
back  the  information,  as  he  confessed  himself,  for  a  more  favourable 
occasion.  — (Note  by  Madame  Bault. ) 

193  o 


NARRATIVE   OF   MADAME   BAULT 

pleading  his  responsibility,  had  put  the  key  in  his  own  pocket. 
Thenceforward  the  two  soldiers  sat  at  the  outer  door,  and 
their  oaths  and  curses  and  blasphemies  no  longer  offended  the 
ears  of  the  august  prisoner,  nor  interrupted  her  religious 
meditations.  She  could  not  work,  as  I  have  already  said, 
owing  to  the  lack  of  light  and  of  means  of  employment. 
She  read  books,  her  favourite  being  The  Voyages  of  Captain 
Cook,  which  my  husband  had  procured  for  her.  The  greater 
part  of  her  time  was  devoted  to  prayer.  She  was  often  seen 
engaged  in  this  pious  occupation,  which  filled  nearly  every 
moment  of  her  life,  especially  after  the  memorable  incident 
that  occurred  in  Richard's  time.1 

In  spite  of  the  presence  of  the  two  sentries  posted  under 
the  window,  the  prisoners  who  were  allowed  to  walk  about 
the  yard  were  able,  by  talking  very  loudly,  to  inform  the 
Queen  of  anything  that  was  likely  to  interest  her.  It  was 
thus  that  she  knew  beforehand  the  day  on  which  she  was  to 
appear  before  the  Tribunal. 

I  shall  only  say  one  word  concerning  that  horrible  cata- 
strophe. My  husband's  agony  at  that  time  was  a  thousand 
times  more  terrible  than  when,  a  few  years  later,  the  last 
moment  of  his  own  life  was  drawing  near.  He  knew  every 
detail,  minute  by  minute,  of  that  monstrous  trial  with  its 
endless  insults,  which  made  the  very  sentence  of  death  itself 
appear  almost  a  boon.  The  night  was  far  advanced  when  the 
Queen  left  the  Tribunal.  Her  courage  was  unshaken,  her 
bearing  noble  as  ever,  but  modest  and  resigned.  My  husband 
was  present  when  she  returned :  she  asked  him  for  writing- 
materials,  and  was  instantly  obeyed.  He  said  to  me  that 
very  day :  "  Your  poor  Queen  wrote  a  letter  and  gave  it  to 
me,  but  I  was  not  able  to  deliver  it  to  the  person  to  whom  it 
was  addressed :  I  was  obliged  to  take  it  to  Fouquier." 

To  us,  as  to  the  whole  French  nation,  the  fate  of  this  relic 
of  maternal  love,  and  piety,  and  courage,  was  long  unknown. 
It  has  now  been  given  back  to  us  in  one  of  those  wonderful 

1  I  knew  even  then  that  a  worthy  priest,  calling  himself  Charles,  braved 
everything  to  enter  the  prison  and  give  the  consolations  of  religion  to  the 
prisoners  ;  but  I  had  not  the  honour  of  knowing  him.  I  have  since  learnt 
that  this  courageous  apostle  of  the  Faith  was  M.  1'abbe  Magnin,  now  the 
Cure  of  Saint-Germain-rAuxerrois. — (Note  by  Madame  Bault.) 

194 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

ways  that  are  only  possible  to  omnipotence,  and  are  proofs 
of  the  unspeakable  goodness  of  Heaven.1 

Such  are  the  chief  circumstances  of  that  unhappy  time,  as 
far  as  I  can  recall  them. 

They  sank  so  deeply  into  my  heart  that  I  have  hitherto 
refrained  from  recording  them  in  writing.  I  have  now  been 
begged  to  do  so,  in  order  to  supplement  the  deficiencies  and 
correct  the  inaccuracies  of  certain  other  narratives  that  have 
been  hastily  published,  with  no  foundation  but  vague  tradition. 
I  have  obeyed  with  no  other  object  than  to  uphold  the  truth. 
At  my  age  and  in  my  position  one  can  have  no  other  motive. 
This  is  not  an  account  of  circumstances  to  which  I  am  a 
stranger :  it  is  my  evidence  with  regard  to  events  that  con- 
cerned me  personally  :  it  is  a  document  wherein  I  have  not 
hesitated  to  record  the  facts  to  which  I  am  one  of  the  last 
remaining  witnesses.  I  do  it  for  the  satisfaction  of  my 
conscience,  the  honour  of  my  husband's  memory,  and  the 
honour  of  my  children,  and,  above  all,  I  do  it  to  express  the 
devotion  and  homage  due  to  the  most  exalted  virtue  that  has 
for  many  a  long  year  done  honour  to  the  dignity  of  the  throne 
and  earned  the  rewards  of  Heaven. 

1  See  page  225. 


195 


THE   QUEEN'S   COMMUNION   IN  THE 
CONCIERGERIE 

THERE  were  many  faithful  royalists  whose  minds  were  greatly 
exercised  with  regard  to  the  Queen's  fate  while  she  was 
imprisoned  in  the  Conciergerie,  and  there  can  be  no  doubt  that 
attempts  were  made  to  rescue  her.  The  Basset  trial,  of  which 
the  original  documents  have  been  published  by  M.  Campardon ; 
the  affair  of  the  carnation  ;  the  million  promised  by  Batz ;  and 
the  evidence  of  Madame  la  Duchesse  d'Angouleme  herself,  are 
incontrovertible  proofs  of  the  existence  of  various  plots  whose 
details  we  do  not  know,  but  whose  reality  we  cannot  deny.  It 
is  equally  certain  that  several  people  succeeded,  by  means  of 
bribes  or  otherwise,  in  making  their  way  either  into  the  Temple 
or  into  the  prison  of  the  Law  Courts  ;  such  as  Jarjaye,  Mrs. 
Atkins,  Rouge ville,  Michonis — who,  it  is  true,  was  obliged  by 
his  office  to  visit  the  Conciergerie — the  painters  Prieur  and 
Kocharsky,  Hue,  the  Citoyenne  Laboullee,1  and  perhaps  others.2 

1  "  The  wife  of  the  hair-dresser  Laboullee,  83  Rue  de  Richelieu,  whom  the 
Queen  to  the  day  of  her  death  called  the  little  Laboullee,  often  succeeded 
in  visiting  Marie  Antoinette  when  she  was  in  prison."—  A.  CHALLAMEL. 
Clubs  contre-revolutionnaires. 

2  In  a  little  volume  published  in  1815  and  probably  quite  forgotten. 
Marie  Antoinette  d'Autriche,  reine  de  France,  by  L.  de  Saint-Hugues,  we 
find  this  strange  anecdote  : 

"  Mme.  Guyot,  head  nurse  of  the  Hospice  de  1'Archeveche,  had  formed 
a  project  for  rescuing  Marie  Antoinette.  To  this  end  she  had  caused  a 
request  to  be  made,  on  the  pretext  of  illness,  for  the  removal  of  Her 
Majesty  to  the  hospital  established  in  the  Archbishop's  Palace,  where 
M.  Ray,  with  the  help  of  M.  Giraud,  the  surgeon  at  the  H6tel-Dieu,  had 
already  broken  and  wrenched  away  the  bar  of  a  window  opening  into  a 
covered  way  that  led  to  the  Seine,  in  the  direction  of  the  lie  Saint-Louis. 
The  barbarous  Fouquier-Tinville,  fearing  lest  his  victim  should  escape 
him,  would  never  consent  to  the  transference.  Then  Mme.  Guyot,  in 
default  of  anything  better,  determined  to  brave  every  danger  and  take  to 
the  unhappy  Queen  some  of  those  absolute  necessaries  of  life  which  she 

196 


THE   QUEEN'S   COMMUNION 

It  is  therefore  quite  credible  that  if  so  many  people  were 
ready  to  risk  their  lives  on  the  mere  chance  of  effecting  a  rescue, 
there  should  be  others  whose  devotion  to  the  Queen  took  the 
form — with  far  more  likelihood  of  success — of  devising  a  way  to 
provide  her  with  the  consolations  of  religion^  -*•"*"' 

There  is  no  need  for  us  to  recall  how  persecution  had  given 
fresh  life  to  the  piety  of  a  large  section  of  the  population.  The 
monastic  houses  had  been  dissolved,  it  is  true ;  but  the  monks, 
and  above  all  the  nuns,  continued  to  live  in  community  in  little 
groups,  hiding  themselves  with  difficulty,  contriving  to  attend 
Mass  regularly,  and  resigning  themselves  to  the  martyrdom  that 
they  considered  inevitable.  These  were  excellent  conditions  for 
the  development  of  heroism.  The  man  who  daily  prepares  him- 
self to  die  is  surprised  when  death  delays,  and  finally  defies  it. 
I  believe  that  in  the  history  of  the  Terror  one  might  easily  find 
many  examples  of  this  kind  of  courage. 

But  indeed  the  facts  as  we  know  them  do  not  need  the  support 
of  this   theory.     We   know   that   among  the  remnants  of  the 
religious   congregations   much  anxiety  was  felt  with  regard  to 
Marie  Antoinette's  approaching  end  :  prayers  were  offered  up 
for  her :  at  Orleans,  which  was  a  notable  centre  of  Catholicism 
during  the  Terror,  the  Church  ordained  nine  days  of  prayer  :  and 
the  Sisters  of  La  Charite-Saint-Roch  were  tormented   by  the     \ 
thought  that  the  prisoner,  who  for  more  than  a  year  had  been       / 
deprived  of  all  religious  aid,  might  any  day  be  put  to  death  with-  /J 
out  having  received  a  single  word  of  consolation. 

was  altogether  without.1  She  contrived  to  make  the  acquaintance  of  the 
gaoler's  wife :  and  having  done  so  begged  her  to  accept  some  light 
refreshment,  and  ended  by  bewildering  her  with  some  sherry  that  was  a 
present  from  a  member  of  the  Senate,  who  is  still  alive.  Forgetting  her 
responsibilities  the  woman  fell  asleep.  Mme.  Guyot  then  took  to  Marie 
Antoinette  a  white  wrapper  with  trimming  on  it  (this  was  the  last  dress 
worn  by  the  Queen),  and  with  it  all  the  garments  that  were  likely  to  be 
useful  to  her.  Mme.  de  Blamont,  the  last  heiress  of  the  house  of 
Chamboran— who  was  nineteen  or  twenty  years  old,  had  been  enceinte,  for 
some  months,  and  was  condemned  to  death  for  no  reason — was  to  be 
rescued  with  the  Queen.  Mme.  de  Blamont  afterwards  recovered  her 
liberty. 

"The  most  careful  search  was  made  to  discover  the  person  who  had 
dared  to  take  these  clothes  to  the  Queen,  but  happily  it  was  in  vain.  The 
courage  and  loyalty  to  the  illustrious  house  of  Bourbon,  exhibited  on  this 
occasion  by  Mme.  Guyot,  are  recorded  in  the  first  edition  of  Les  Illustres 
persecutes" 

We  have  not  been  able  to  discover  the  book  to  which  L.  de  Saint-Hugues 
here  alludes. 

1  See  the  evidence  of  the  widow  Bault  on  this  point,  page  191 

197 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

These  simple,  devout  creatures  did  not  know  that  there  were 
those  within  the  walls  of  the  prison  itself  whose  minds  were  full 
of  the  same  pious  thoughts. 

There  was  in  the  Conciergerie  at  that  time  an  eminent  priest, 
the  Abbe  Emery,  the  head  of  the  Seminary  of  Saint-Sulpice, 
whose  influence  over  most  of  the  Parisian  clergy  was  very  great. 
He  had  been  imprisoned  on  the  3rd  August,  1 793,  and  continued 
from  his  cell,  assisted  from  without  by  his  friend  M.  Bechet,  to 
carry  on  the  functions  of  a  director  and  to  fulfil  the  duties  of  his 
ministry.1  The  thing  seems  incredible  :  no  matter :  it  is  proved 
by  incontestable  evidence. 

The  Abbe  Emery  received  frequent  visits  in  the  Conciergerie. 
The  Abbe  Montaigu,  and  other  refractory  priests,  had  devised 
some  way  of  entering  the  prison  regularly  and  taking  to  the 
prisoner  a  pyx  full  of  wafers,  wrapped  in  a  white  handkerchief ; 
so  that  from  the  beginning  of  August  1 793  until  after  the  9th 
Thermidor  not  a  day  passed  without  the  Mass  being  celebrated 
in  the  Conciergerie — that  Conciergerie  which  Fouquier-Tinville 
imagined  to  be  so  closely  guarded  and  so  impenetrable.2 

1  "In  1794  M.  Bechet,  director  of  the  Seminary  of  Saint-Sulpice,  who 
in  Monseigneur  de  Juigne's  name  fulfilled  the  functions  of  vicar -general, 
thought  he  ought  to  organise  the  work  of  ministering  to  the  condemned 
prisoners,  and  a  priest  was  chosen  for  each  day  of  the  week.     The  Abbe 
de  Sambucy  the  elder,  then  living  at  Milhaut,  took  Sunday ;  the  Abbe 
Renaud,  Thursday  ;  the  Abbe  Philibert,  Wednesday.     The  names  of  the 
other  priests  are  forgotten,  but  it  is  believed  that  the  Abb6  Keravenan 
was  of  their  number."     (From  the  unpublished  manuscript  of  one  of  these 
priests,  the  Abbe  Philibert  Bruyan,  who  died  Bishop  of  Grenoble.     Quoted 
by  the  Abbe  Delarc,  in  L'Eofoc  de  Paris  pendant  la  Revolution. ) 

We  know  that  the  Abbe  Keravenan,  who  afterwards  became  the  cure"  of 
Saint-Germain-des-Pres,  gave  absolution  to  Danton  at  the  last. 

2  On  this  point  we  may  quote  the  valuable  testimony  of  one  of  the 
prisoners,    the  young    soldier  Barthelemy  de   la  Roche,   whose  letters, 
written  in  the  Conciergerie  itself,  have  been  preserved. 

"We  want  for  nothing  here,"  he  says,  "in  the  way  of  help  and 
consolation  of  every  description.  They  bring  us  from  the  town  the  result 
of  the  precious  covenant  (the  Communion) ;  picture  our  joy. 

"  We  have  been  expecting  our  trial  for  three  months  and  a  half,  and  yet 
it  does  not  come.  God  be  praised  !  .  .  .  I  have  not  yet  had  five  minutes 
of  weariness  in  my  new  abode.  Moreover,  I  and  all  who  share  my 
sentiments  are  treated  here  with  the  most  absolute  respect,  even  by  those 
who  profess  to  be  freethinkers.  Some  of  them  keep  up  this  character 
even  on  the  scaffold.  Poor  souls  !  they  must  be  greatly  surprised  when 
they  are  suddenly  cut  off  and  find  themselves  in  the  presence  of  God — they 
to  whom  nothing  could  be  so  unexpected  as  this  solemn  appearance  on  the 
scene.  .  . 

"  .  .  If  I  go  on  my  long  journey  soon  I  make  you  my  sole  legatee,  and 
as  one  knows  beforehand  on  what  day  one  is  to  go  up,  I  will  do  up  a 
parcel  and  have  it  left  in  the  town,  and  will  put  in  it  the  watch  (of 

198 


THE   QUEEN'S   COMMUNION 

Thanks  to  M.  Emery  this  "  service  of  souls/'  as  it  has  been 
called,  was  not  only  organised  in  the  Conciergerie,  but  in  all  the 
prisons  of  Paris. 

By  means  of  his  numerous  acquaintances  and  his  influence  over 
the  scattered  clergy  he  contrived  ways  of  enabling  priests  to 
penetrate  everywhere,  and  did  a  truly  apostolic  work.  When 
condemned  prisoners  were  unable  to  receive  the  Sacrament 
before  setting  out  for  the  scaffold  they  were  informed,,  by  some 
reliable  means,  that  at  a  given  point  of  the  fatal  journey  a  priest 
would  be  posted  by  the  roadside  to  give  them  absolution  from 
where  he  stood.  The  Abbes  de  Voisins,  de  Keravenan,  de  Sam- 
bucy,  and  other  former  students  of  Saint-Sulpice  devoted  them- 
selves habitually  to  this  dangerous  ministry.  M.  Emery  had 
become  the  Chaplain-in-Chief  of  the  prisons  of  the  Republic. 

Now  this  saintly  ecclesiastic,  whose  influence  was  so  powerful, 
was  not  unaware  that  Marie  Antoinette  was  imprisoned  near 
him.  He  himself  often  described  how,,  being  lodged  above  the 
Queen  and  having  found  a  way  of  corresponding  with  her  through 
some  of  the  other  prisoners,  he  succeeded  in  getting  a  note  to 
her  one  day,  in  which  he  said :  "  Prepare  to  receive  absolution 
to-night  at  twelve  o'clock,  I  shall  be  at  your  door  and  shall  pro- 
nounce the  sacramental  words  over  you.'  And  at  the  appointed 
hour  he  was  actually  outside  the  Queen's  door ;  he  heard  the 
sighs  of  that  unhappy  princess,  and  conversed  with  her  for  some 
moments  before  he  gave  her  absolution."  l 

P.  d'Hervilee),  with  my  little  library,  my  crucifix,  and  my  rosary.  You 
will  find  in  the  parcel  my  last  wishes,  a  little  manuscript  of  which  the 
original  was  found  on  a  priest  who  was  executed.  I  copied  it  for  you. 
This  writing  will  give  you  infinite  satisfaction." 

These  last  wishes  are  worthy  of  being  preserved.  This  is  what  B.  de  la 
Roche  wrote  on  the  eve  of  his  condemnation : 

"I  believe  that  the  man  who  denounced  us  and  was  boarding  with  our 
ladies  is  in  a  state  of  destitution.  I  should  like  you  to  hand  over  a 
hundred  livres  to  him.  He  has  several  children,  and  has  probably  not 
received  that  sum,  which  was  what  he  hoped  to  get  for  his  denunciation." 
— (See  Un  Episode  de  la  Tei~reur,  by  the  Comte  Anatole  de  Segur,  1864. ) 

1   Vie  de  M.timery,  by  the  Abb6  Gosselin. 

The  Abbe  Emery  is  one  of  the  most  astonishing  figures  of  this  as- 
tonishing epoch.  He  was  sixty  years  old  when  he  was  imprisoned,  and 
during  his  long  confinement  "  he  was  perpetually  preparing  himself  to  die 
by  preparing  others  ;  and  yet  he  did  not  die.  Three  times  he  touched  the 
foot  of  the  guillotine,  so  to  speak,  and  three  times  he  came  back  alive. 
When  he  was  free  he  often  stopped  to  look  at  the  fatal  instrument,  in 
order  to  accustom  his  eyes  and  his  mind  to  it ;  and  it  is  said  that  when  he 
was  in  prison  he  had  a  little  model  of  it  made,  with  the  same  object." — 
(De  Segur,  loc.  cit.) 

"  At  the  Conciergerie  he  carried  on  the  life  of  the  Seminary,"  says 

199 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

These  things,  however,  were  not  known  outside  the  prison 
walls,  and  this  explains  why  Marie  Antoinette's  unknown  friends, 
feeling  that  the  tragic  climax  was  approaching,  determined  in 
spite  of  the  apparently  insurmountable  obstacles  to  arrange  an 
interview  for  her  with  a  non-juring  priest. 

Let  us  first  take  a  cursory  view  of  the  facts :  we  will  discuss 
their  authenticity  afterwards. 

A  poor  girl  called  Mademoiselle  Fouche  offered  herself  for  the 
adventurous  attempt :  she  obtained  permission  from  the  gaoler 
Richard  to  enter  the  Queen's  cell :  she  explained  to  the  prisoner 
the  object  of  her  mission,  and  a  few  days  later  she  brought  with 
her  the  Abbe  Magnin,  dressed  as  a  layman.  The  Abbe  returned 
to  the  Conciergerie  several  times.  The  affair  of  the  carnation 
and  the  consequent  arrest  of  Richard  put  an  end  to  his  visits  for 
a  time,  but  the  new  gaoler  Bault  was  no  stricter  than  his  prede- 
cessor. The  interviews  between  the  Queen  and  the  priest 
continued,  and  the  latter  one  night  brought  with  him  the  sacred 
objects  necessary  for  the  celebration  of  the  Mass,  in  the  course 
of  which  Marie  Antoinette  received  the  Communion.  We  know 
that  she  was  watched  by  two  gendarmes.  The  priest  spoke  to 
them  for  a  moment,  and  the  two  men,  whose  names  were  Lamarche 
and  Prud'homme,  took  part  with  their  prisoner  in  the  religious 
ceremony.  A  few  days  before  the  1st  of  October  the  Abbe 
Magnin  fell  ill,  and  Mademoiselle  Fouche  went  away  to  Orleans. 
She  only  returned  to  Paris  on  the  evening  of  the  veiy  day  of  the 
execution.  Such,  in  few  words,  is  the  story  told  by  the  Abbe 
Magnin  and  Mademoiselle  Fouche  :  we  shall  read  it  presently  in 
full,  and  it  is  therefore  unnecessary  to  give  the  details  here. 

another  historian:  "devoting  to  his  prayers  and  meditations  the  usual 
hours  of  the  Seminary  .  .  .  reading,  writing,  studying  with  more  ardour 
and  consistency  even  than  he  had  ever  shown  before,  and  this  in  the  midst 
of  all  the  uproar ;  at  the  hours  of  prayer  or  study  stopping  his  ears  with 
bread-crumb,  at  the  recreation-hour  unstopping  them  again,  and  then — 
gentle,  gay,  benevolent,  cultivated — throwing  himself  into  the  con- 
versations that  were  sometimes  so  delightful  in  the  prison.  He  soon 
acquired  over  everyone  round  him  an  authority  to  which  he  had  never 
aspired.  When  the  prisoners  in  the  same  room  as  himself  chose  a 
president  it  was  he  that  was  elected. 

According  to  his  friends,  who  left  some  notes  on  his  life,  "  his  qualities 
as  a  Superior  made  themselves  felt  even  in  his  state  of  bondage." — 
Champagny.  fitude,  aur  M.  fimery. 

We  may  add  that  M.  Emery,  whom  the  gaolers  themselves  did  not 
gainsay,  obtained  leave  to  pass  the  night  with  the  condemned  prisoners  in 
the  waiting-room,  to  prepare  them  for  death. — (Un  Episode  dt  la  Terreur, 
by  the  Comte  Anatole  de  Segur. ) 

200 


THE   QUEEN'S    COMMUNION 

We  will  only  attempt  to  answer  the  objections  to  which  these 
narratives  have  given  rise. 

In  the  first  place  it  seems  to  us  that  the  evidence  to  which  we 
have  referred  above,  touching  the  religious  ceremonies  performed 
in  the  prisons  of  the  Terror,  is  enough  to  save  the  Abb6  Magnin's 
story  from  all  appearance  of  incredibility.  The  Mass  was  said 
every  day  in  the  Conciergerie,  the  non-juring  priests  went  in 
and  out  almost  at  will,  and  Fouquier-Tinville  and  his  masters,  the 
members  of  the  Committees  of  Public  Safety  and  General  Security, 
were  evidently  not  in  the  secret ;  but  Richard  the  gaoler,  being 
either  merciful  or  corruptible,  tacitly  authorised  this  infraction 
of  the  rules,  for  it  is  impossible  that  he  could  have  been  ignorant 
of  it.  Why  should  he  have  denied  to  the  Queen  a  consolation 
that  the  other  prisoners  enjoyed?  This  man  Richard  was 
certainly  not  a  very  stern  gaoler,  and  Mademoiselle  Fouche 
cannot  have  had  very  much  difficulty  in  obtaining  permission  for 
the  Abbe  Magnin  to  enter,  since  M.  Emery  was  visited  every 
day  by  the  Abbe  Montaigu,  Philibert,  and  de  Sambucy.  As  the 
introduction  of  a  priest  into  the  prison  was  not  an  unknown 
occurrence  we  may  feel  quite  safe  in  accepting  Mademoiselle 
Fouche's  assertion  on  the  subject. 

And  is  the  celebration  of  the  Mass  in  the  cell  any  more 
incredible  ?  By  no  means.  If  it  is  true — and  on  this  point,  as 
we  have  seen,  the  witnesses  are  many — that  M.  Emery  was 
allowed  to  console  the  condemned  prisoners  up  to  the  very  end, 
and  even  to  pass  the  night  with  them,  it  must  have  been  equally 
easy  to  authorise  the  Abbe  Magnin  to  stay  for  an  hour  or  two  in 
the  Queen's  cell.  The  reading  of  an  office  in  an  isolated  room 
from  which  everyone  was  excluded  presented  fewer  risks  than 
the  performance  of  an  almost  public  ceremony  amid  all  the  stir 
and  movement  of  the  prison. 

The  two  gendarmes  on  guard  received  absolution  and  knelt 
before  the  altar  with  the  Queen  :  this  seems  to  be  the  finishing- 
touch  to  the  incredibility  of  the  affair  !  But  may  we  not  meet 
this  objection  by  pointing  out  that  it  was  to  Richard's  interest 
that  night  to  choose  warders  whose  republicanism  was  rather 
doubtful  ?  Are  they  more  incongruous  in  this  connection  than 
the  Knight  of  Saint  Louis  who  in  this  same  Conciergerie  prayed 
for  two  hours  every  day,  or  than  the  young  soldier  who  read  the 
Combat  Spirituel  and  the  Introduction  a  la  me  devote  ? l  Was  there 

1   Un  Episode  de,  la  Terreur,  by  the  Comte  Anatole  de  Segur. 

201 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

not  an  immense  majority  of  those  who,  even  while  they  welcomed 
the  Revolution,  were  still  in  their  hearts  faithful  to  the  religion 
of  their  youth  ?  Whatever  manner  of  men  they  were,  it  was 
necessary  for  the  gendarmes  guarding  the  Queen  to  choose,  in 
circumstances  such  as  these,  between  two  alternatives  :  either  to 
inform  their  superiors  of  what  they  saw,  or  to  take  part  in  the 
moving  scene  that  was  being  enacted  under  their  eyes.  One  can 
hardly  picture  them  talking  and  laughing  and  smoking  their  pipes 
at  such  a  solemn  moment. 

There  was  one  thing  that  inclined  us  at  first  to  reject  the 
episode  of  the  Communion  of  the  gendarmes,  and  with  it  the 
whole  of  the  Abbe  Magnin's  narrative  ;  and  this  was  that  the 
two  men  were  said  to  have  died  on  the  scaffold  in  the  course  of 
the  Revolution.  Now  we  could  find  no  mention  of  Lamarche  nor 
of  Prud'komme  in  any  of  the  very  complete  records  of  the  Revo- 
lutionary Tribunal.  These  two  names,  then,  it  appeared,  had 
been  invented  for  the  requirements  of  the  story,  which  in  our 
opinion  was  entirely  upset  and  demolished  by  the  results  of  this 
inquiry. 

Well,  these  men  Lamarche  and  Prud'homme  did  really  exist 
after  all !  They  were  in  the  same  company  of  gendarmerie)  and 
were  condemned  to  death,  but  not  by  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal. 
We  discovered  the  documents  connected  with  their  trial  among 
the  papers  of  the  Military  Commission  appointed  after  the 
Insurrection  of  Prairial.1 

We  have  no  fundamental  reason,  then,  to  disbelieve  in  the 
Queen's  Communion  in  the  cell  of  the  Conciergerie ;  but  it 

1  National  Archives,  W2  546.  Re  the  twenty-three  gendarmes  accused 
of  deserting  their  post  at  the  Arsenal. 

Jean-Baptiste  Prud'homme,  twenty-nine  years  of  age,  native  of 
Jonquereuil,  department  of  the  Aube,  gendarme  of  the  1st  division,  company 
of  La  Bille. 

Charles  Antoine  Lamarche,  twenty-five  years  of  age,  native  of  Mire- 
court,  department  of  the  Marne,  gendarme  of  the  1st  division,  company  of 
La  Bille. 

Convicted  :  1st,  of  having  basely  deserted,  without  any  kind  of 
resistance,  the  important  post  of  the  Arsenal,  which  had  been  entrusted 
to  them,  and  of  having  left  there  the  people's  representative,  Dentzel, 
exposed  to  the  fury  of  the  rebels. 

2ndly.  Of  having  taken  refuge  in  the  Faubourg  Antoine  on  the  4th  of 
this  month,  and  mixed  with  the  rebels,  among  whom  they  were  discovered 
and  arrested  when  the  Faubourg  was  stormed. 

Srdly.  Of  having  by  this  conduct  taken  an  active  part  in  the  rebellion 
and  in  the  existing  conspiracy,  and  of  having  exposed  the  lives  of  good 
citizens  and  endangered  the  public  welfare. 

202 


THE   QUEEN'S   COMMUNION 

remains  to  us  to  inquire  what  degree  of  confidence  we  may 
place  in  the  narratives  of  Mademoiselle  Fouche  and  the  Abbe 
Magnin. 

The  Abbe  Magnin,  having  been  before  the  Revolution  the 
director  of  the  little  Seminary  of  Autun,  became  after  the  Terror 
the  priest  of  the  parish  of  Saint-Roch.  In  the  days  of  the  Con- 
sulate he  informed  the  Duchesse  d'Angoule'me  that  the  Queen, 
shortly  before  her  death,  had  received  the  Sacrament.  Marie 
Antoinette's  daughter — who  was  so  cautious  in  regard  to  every- 
thing concerning  her  parents'  memory,  so  mistrustful  of  the 
innumerable  people  who  boasted  of  having  alleviated  the  suffer- 
ings of  the  royal  captives  in  their  imprisonment,  so  incredulous 
before  the  outburst  of  "retrospective  devotion"  that  she  refused 
the  heart  of  "  the  child  of  the  Temple,"  which  Dr.  Pelletan  had 
removed  at  the  time  of  the  autopsy — Marie  Antoinette's  daughter 
must  surely,  in  any  matter  that  concerned  her  mother's  last  hours, 
have  had  all  the  evidence  put  before  her.  On  the  l6th  October, 
1814,  she  received  the  Abbe  Magnin,  and  it  is  plain  that  she  did 
not  regard  him  as  an  impostor,  since  two  years  later  she  pro- 
cured for  him  the  cure  of  Saint- Germain-l'Auxerrois,  the  royal 
parish. 

This  excellent  priest,  however,  never  attempted  to  boast  of  his 
noble  conduct.  He  had  said  nothing  of  it  when  the  Comte  de 
Robiano's  pamphlet,  of  which  we  shall  speak  presently,  revealed 
to  the  world  the  fact  of  the  Queen's  Communion,  which  until 
then  had  been  known  only  to  a  few  individuals. 

There  was  but  one  person  who  attempted  a  refutation.  Was 
this  person,  as  one  would  naturally  suppose,  a  man  whom  circum- 
stances had  placed  in  a  position  to  know  everything  that  went  on 
in  the  Conciergerie  ?  Not  at  all.  The  man  who  flung  himself  so 
eagerly  into  this  discussion  was  Lafont  d'Aussonne,  late  cure  of 
Drancy  in  the  diocese  of  Versailles,  who  described  himself  as  an 
ex-priest,  now  a  manufacturer  of  Prussian  blue.  He  was  the  author 
of  a  book  on  Marie  Antoinette,  in  which  among  other  enormities 
he  declared,  without  giving  any  evidence  or  taking  the  trouble 
to  support  his  assertion  in  a  note,  that  the  Queen  died  from  a  fit 
of  apoplexy  on  her  way  from  the  Law  Courts  to  the  Place  de  la 
Revolution,  and  that  the  executioner  had  only  beheaded  a 
corpse  ! 

Such  is  the  historian  who,  with  unaccountable  animosity, 
attacked  the  Abbe  Magnin's  revelations.  He  published  a 

203 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

virulent  pamphlet  called:  The  fictitious  Communion  of  the  Queen, 
supported  by  means  of  a  fiction,  in  which  the  cure  of  Saint- 
Germain-rAuxerrois  and  Mademoiselle  Fouche  were  violently 
accused  of  imposture.1 

When  the  Abbe  Magnin  was  informed  by  one  of  his  friends  2 
of  the  publication  of  this  brochure  he  determined  not  to  answer 
it.  It  required  nothing  less  than  the  intervention  of  a  high 
dignitary  of  the  diocese  of  Paris  to  persuade  him  to  make  a 
solemn  declaration  of  the  truth  of  his  assertions.  The  Abbe 
Desjardins,  cure  of  Foreign  Missions  and  afterwards  vicar-general 
of  Paris,  put  it  before  him  as  a  positive  duty  to  prove  the 
authenticity  of  the  fact  contested  by  Lafont  d'Aussonne ;  and 
"  on  the  following  day,  which  was  a  Sunday,  M.  Magnin  entered 
the  pulpit  between  vespers  and  compline,  and  in  the  presence  of 
a  numerous  congregation  protested  with  charitable  moderation 
against  so  revolting  an  imputation.  He  described  the  incident 
and  the  chief  circumstances  attending  it.  Then  turning  to  the 
altar  he  raised  his  hands  and  declared  before  God  that  all  he 
had  just  said  was  absolute  truth."  3 

Lafont  d'Aussonne  did  not  consider  himself  beaten.  In  the 
following  year  (1825),  he  published  a  Memorial  to  the  King  on  the 
importance  of  the  spurious  matter  dealing  with  the  Conciergerie. 
The  Abbe  Magnin  did  not  answer  him,  but  contented  himself 
with  addressing  to  the  King  a  memorial  in  manuscript,  of  which 
we  shall  presently  read  the  entire  text.  In  it  he  produced  the 
conclusive  evidence  of  various  witnesses,  among  them  being  the 

1  The  first  and  most  plausible  of    Lafont  d'Aussonne's   objections  is 
derived  from  the  Queen's  Will  itself :  Not  knowing  whether  there  are  any 
priests  of  this  religion  (Catholic)  still  alive,  and  moreover  the  place  in  which 
I  am  would  be  too  dangerous  for  them.     It  would  seem  then  that  Marie 
Antoinette  herself   declared  that  she  had  not  seen  a  priest  in  the  Con- 
ciergerie, and  that  the  Abbe  Magnin's  story  is  therefore  nothing  but  an 
imposture. 

But  we  may  meet  this  by  saying  that  these  words  of  the  prisoner  are 
completely  in  accord  with  the  assertions  of  Mile.  Fouche,  who,  being 
obliged  to  go  away  to  Orleans  during  the  first  days  of  October,  had 
suddenly  given  up  her  Aasits  to  the  Conciergerie.  The  Queen,  seeing  no 
more  of  her  consolers,  may  have  thought  they  had  been  arrested  and 
imprisoned,  and  did  not  wish  to  compromise  those  who  had  shown  her  so 
much  devotion.  And  moreover  we  know  that,  when  the  cure  Girard  came 
on  the  morning  of  the  16th  October  to  offer  his  services  to  the  prisoner,  she, 
knowing  he  had  taken  the  oath,  answered  that  she  had  no  need  of  his 
assistance.  Divine  mercy  has  provided  for  me*  she  said. 

2  M.  Troche. 

3  La  Communion  de  la  Heine  Marie  Antoinette  a  la  Conciergerie. — (See 
the  journal  Le  Monde  for  March  31st,  1863.) 

204 


THE  QUEEN'S   COMMUNION 

widow  Bault,  who  certified  that  she  knew  he  had  come  to  the 
prison  during  the  Queen's  confinement  in  the  Conciergerie,  to 
give  the  prisoner  the  consolations  of  religion.1 

1  (See  p.  220.) 

The  paper  L'Ami  de  la  Religion  for  December  19,  1843,  contains  an  in- 
teresting study  of  the  Abbe  Magnin.  We  quote  from  it  the  following 
account  of  his  last  years. 

"  The  Abbe  Magnin  zealously  managed  his  parish  until  1831.  The 
Parisian  clergy  were  at  that  time  surrounded  by  enemies  who,  though  few 
in  number,  made  up  for  this  by  their  violence,  and  made  no  secret  of  their 
hostile  schemes.  Ever  since  the  death  of  the  Due  de  Berry  it  had  been  the 
constant  custom  to  celebrate  a  service  in  his  memory  on  the  14th  February. 
Some  royalists,  who  thought  this  pious  custom  should  not  be  abolished  on 
account  of  the  change  of  Government  .  .  .  went  in  search  of  M.  Magnin. 
The  matter  was  urgent,  for  it  was  then  Thursday,  and  it  was  wished  that 
the  service  should  be  performed  on  Monday  the  15th  February  since  the  14th 
was  a  Sunday.  It  did  not  occur  to  the  vicar  of  Saint-Germain-FAuxerrois 
to  inform  the  ecclesiastical  authorities,  and  he  read  the  service  on  the 
appointed  day.  Everything  went  off  quietly,  and  the  clergy  had  already 
returned  to  the  vestry  when  a  young  man,  prompted  by  some  unknown 
motive,  thought  of  fastening  a  portrait  of  the  Due  de  Bordeaux  to  the 
catafalque.  As  soon  as  M.  Magnin  had  been  informed  of  this  imprudent 
action  he  hurried  to  remove  the  portrait,  but  it  was  too  late.  A  crowd, 
composed  of  members  of  the  lowest  mob,  but  prompted  by  more  important 
persons,  rushed  into  the  church,  destroyed  everything  in  it — not  even 
sparing  the  ancient  tombs — and  in  a  few  moments  turned  this  holy  fane 
into  a  scene  of  horror.  They  devastated  the  vestry  in  the  same  way,  and 
then  proceeded  to  the  presbytery,  the  cur£s  dwelling.  There  they  spared 
nothing  :  furniture,  books,  linen,  vestments,  everything  was  stolen  or 
destroyed.  They  looked  for  M.  Magnin  himself,  intending  to  seize  him 
and  throw  him  into  the  river ;  but  he  had  cautiously  hidden  himself,  and 
for  that  day  was  able  to  escape  the  fury  of  the  rioters. 

"The  authorities  made  M.  Magnin  responsible  for  this  event,  by  which 
he  had  been  so  cruelly  victimised.  They  issued  a  writ  against  him,  and 
he  was  seized  and  put  in  prison.  He  was  first  examined  before  a  young 
judge,  of  whose  methods  he  could  not  speak  too  highly ;  but  afterwards 
he  appeared  before  an  older  one  who  treated  him  very  differently  and 
seemed  absolutely  determined  to  prove  his  guilt. 

"  The  truth  triumphed  at  last,  and  after  nineteen  days  of  imprisonment 
M.  Magnin  recovered  his  liberty  ;  but  he  had  not  only  lost  everything  he 
possessed  but  was  also  deprived  of  the  consolation  of  returning  to  his 
church,  which,  after  having  been  laid  waste,  was  closed  and  threatened 
with  destruction.  He  and  his  clergy  were  obliged  to  take  refuge  in  the 
church  of  St.  Eustache,  which  then  served  two  parishes. 

"  When  in  1832  there  was  such  a  violent  outbreak  of  cholera  it  was 
thought  right  to  ask  the  authorities  to  allow  the  church  of  Saint-Germain- 
1'Auxerrois  to  be  opened.  They  consented,  and  M.  le  curd,  who  had  been 
given  the  keys  of  his  church,  was  already  occupied  in  having  the  most 
urgent  repairs  seen  to,  when  the  enemies  of  religion  compassed  the 
revocation  of  the  authorities'  permission,  and  had  the  venerable  pastor 
ignominiously  removed  from  the  holy  edifice.  So  the  doors  of  Saint- 
Germain-1' Auxerrois  were  once  more  closed,  and  the  iron  plates  with  which 
they  were  fastened  showed  plainly  that  all  hope  of  seeing  them  re-opened 
must  be  given  up.  This  state  of  things  lasted  until  1837. 

"  M.  Magnin  then  resolved  to  resign.  Hardly  had  he  come  to  this 
determination  when  the  church  was  restored  to  the  uses  of  religion 

205 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

M.  Maxime  de  la  Rocheterie  (Revue  des  Questions  historiques, 
1870),  in  the  course  of  a  very  complete  study  of  the  subject  we 
are  considering,  proved  that  M.  le  Comte  de  Robiano's  story 
merited  as  much  confidence  as  the  Abbe  Magnin's  official  decla- 
ration. The  Comte  Fra^ois  de  Robiano,  a  scion  of  an  ancient 
and  noble  Italian  family  who  had  settled  in  Belgium  at  the  time 
of  the  Spanish  rule,  had  during  his  many  visits  to  Paris  become  in- 
timate with  the  vicar  of  Saint-Germain-l'  Auxerrois,  who  had  been 
brought  to  his  notice  as  the  last  consoler  of  Louis  XVI.'s  widow. 

He  listened  eagerly  to  the  details  of  that  marvellous  incident. 
He  then  determined  to  hear  Mademoiselle  Fouche's  story  also, 
and  undertook  to  take  down  the  depositions  of  the  two  eye- 
witnesses. The  Comte  de  Robiano  carried  his  zeal  for  historical 
accuracy  to  the  utmost  point  of  scrupulousness.  Every  day  at 
the  end  of  his  interview  with  Mademoiselle  Fouche  or  the  Abbe 
Magnin  he  wrote  down  what  he  had  heard,  and  on  the  morrow 
he  read  aloud  to  them  the  notes  he  had  written,  in  order  to  make 
sure  that  they  were  quite  accurate,  and  were  in  every  respect 
consistent  with  the  recollections  of  the  witnesses.  (Information 
given  in  1870  to  M.  Maxime  de  la  Rocheterie,  by  M.  le  Comte  L.  de 
Robiano,  member  of  the  Belgian  Senate  and  son  of  Count  Francois.) 

M.  de  Robiano's  narrative,  having  been  compiled  in  such  con- 
ditions as  these,  may  be  regarded  as  absolutely  reliable;  and 
this  being  the  case,  we  have  thought  it  right  to  publish  it  with 
the  Abbe  Magnin's  declaration. 

And  now  the  reader  must  judge  for  himself.  In  spite  of  this 
long  preamble  the  following  pages  will  doubtless  seem  to  him 
full  of  improbabilities,  but  with  the  exception  of  a  few  insigni- 
ficant details  we,  for  our  part,  believe  them  to  be  a  truthful  record. 
The  fact  of  Marie  Antoinette's  Communion  in  the  Conciergerie 
must  be  classed  among  those  astonishing  circumstances  which 
such  as  study  it  closely  will  find  in  the  history  of  that 
terrible  and  strange  Revolution,  wherein  so  much  passion,  and 
hatred,  and  devotion  were  mingled. 

without  the  smallest  disturbance.  M.  de  Quelen  blessed  it  on  the 
13th  May,  1837,  and  on  the  following  day,  which  was  Whitsun  Day,  the 
Abb4  Quentin,  vicar-general,  celebrated  High  Mass  within  its  walls. 

"  M.  Magnin,  who  was  tall  and  had  a  good  constitution,  died  at  the  age 
of  eighty-three,  without  suffering  any  of  the  infirmities  of  age.  He 
succumbed  on  the  12th  January,  1843,  leaving  everything  he  possessed  to  the 
Seminary  of  Foreign  Missions,  where  he  had  lived  for  nearly  six  months 
in  1791.  His  funeral  service  was  performed  at  Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois 
on  the  15th  January,  in  the  presence  of  a  great  number  of  his  former 
parishioners." 

206 


THE  RECOLLECTIONS   OF 
MADEMOISELLE    FOUCHE 

RECORDED  IN   1824 
BY   M.    LE    COMTE    DE    RoBIANO 

.  .  .  DURING  that  terrible  time  so  justly  known  as  the 
Terror,  Mademoiselle  Fouche  and  the  Abbe  Magnin,  who 
then  called  himself  M.  Charles,  had  the  courage — relying  on 
the  goodness  of  Providence — to  devote  themselves  to  the 
prisoners,  for  whom  they  wished  to  secure,  not  only  the 
kindly  human  comfort  and  help  that  seemed  banished  from 
the  face  of  the  earth,  but  also  the  support  of  religion  with 
its  invaluable  examples  of  courage  and  resignation.  They 
were  known  to  several  of  the  gaolers — whose  complaisance 
was  seldom  gratuitous — and  were  regarded  by  them  merely 
as  good  creatures  of  no  importance,  who  followed  the  dictates 
of  their  kind  hearts,  and  relieved  all  who  were  unfortunate, 
without  distinction.  This  being  the  state  of  things  Made- 
moiselle Fouche  conceived  the  bold  project  of  making  her 
way  into  the  Queen's  presence. 

One  day  then,  as  Mademoiselle  Fouche  was  coming  away 
from  visiting  some  of  the  other  prisoners,  she  asked  the 
gaoler  Richard  if  she  might  not  be  allowed  to  see  the  Queen. 
For  a  long  time  he  refused  to  listen  to  her  request. 
"  Impossible !  Absolutely  impossible ! "  he  repeated. 
Mademoiselle  Fouche  thought  she  detected  something  in  the 
tone  of  his  voice  that  showed  that  his  decision  was  not  final, 
that  by  some  means  this  no  might  perhaps  become  yes ;  and 
presenting  the  gaoler  with  some  pieces  of  gold  with  which 

207 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

she  had  supplied  herself  for  the  purpose  she  renewed  her 
request.  "Pay  attention  to  what  I  say,"  said  Richard. 
"  There  are  four  gendarmes  entrusted  with  the  guarding  of 
the  prisoner ;  two  of  them  are  devils,  but  the  other  two  are 
good  lads.  They  relieve  each  other  at  midnight.  Come  at 
half-past  twelve,  and — we  shall  see."  Mademoiselle  Fouche, 
overwhelmed  with  delight,  went  to  the  worthy  M.  Magnin. 
"  I  am  going  to  be  allowed  to  see  the  Queen ! "  she 
said. 

In  the  middle  of  the  night,  amid  all  the  dangers  that 
arose  from  the  restless,  active,  relentless  vigilance  of  that 
time,  which  sent  men  to  their  death  on  the  merest  suspicion, 
these  two  Christian  friends  repaired  to  a  place  that  was 
absolutely  the  most  dangerous  in  all  Paris,  a  place  upon 
which  savage  eyes  must  surely  have  been  always  fixed,  had  it 
not  been  that  God  sent  them  to  sleep.  Richard  kept  his 
word.  Mademoiselle  Fouche  was  shown,  alone,  into  the 
Queen's  cell.  The  Queen  was  not  in  bed.  A  wretched  little 
low  bed,  an  old  arm-chair  stuffed  with  straw,  a  little  table, 
— such  was  her  furniture  in  this  damp  hole,  which  was  un- 
papered,  and  was  divided  into  two  parts  by  a  kind  of  curtain 
and  a  screen  as  well.  The  second  division  was  occupied  by 
the  two  gendarmes  who  made  the  Queen's  martyrdom  com- 
plete, in  this  melancholy  abode,  by  watching  her  perpetually. 

Mademoiselle  Fouche  was  struck  by  the  majestic  appear- 
ance of  her  Sovereign,  but  the  sight  of  the  blanched  hair, 
and  hollow  cheeks,  and  faded  colouring  filled  her  with  emotion. 
The  Queen  looked  silently  at  this  person  who  came  into  her 
prison  at  such  an  hour.  Then  Mademoiselle  Fouche,  whose 
lips  knew  no  guile,  told  her  story.  In  simple  words  that 
would  have  been  impossible  to  an  impostor  she  informed  the 
Queen  of  the  touching  purpose  that  brought  a  Frenchwoman 
and  a  Christian  into  her  presence.  But  the  Queen  had  been 
for  so  long  surrounded  by  snares  that  she  could  not  yield  her 
confidence  so  soon.  Mademoiselle  FouchePs  heart  was  throb- 
bing with  emotion  and  happiness  and  embarrassment;  but 
she  plucked  up  courage  enough  to  beg  the  Queen  to  take 
some  food  she  had  brought  her,  offering,  alas  !  to  taste  it  first. 
She  received  no  answer.  Good  Mademoiselle  Fouche  under- 

208 


RECOLLECTIONS  OF  MLLE.  FOUCHE 

stood  the  royal  prisoner's  caution  in  the  most  wonderful  way,1 
and  knew  why  she  could  win  nothing  from  her  but  a  look  of 
dignity — that  last  sublime  defence  of  the  daughter  of 
Emperors  !  She  ended  this  first  visit  by  asking  Her  Majesty 
if  she  would  allow  her  to  return.  "  As  you  will,"  said  the 
Queen.  Ah,  will  I  not  !  thought  Mademoiselle  Fouche  no 
doubt,  and,  more  than  ever  resolved  to  carry  out  her  pious 
and  devoted  scheme,  she  went  away  quite  satisfied. 

Meanwhile  the  Queen  was  thinking  over  this  visit,  for 
Mademoiselle  Fouche's  conduct  had  touched  her,  and  she 
became  convinced  of  the  sincerity  of  this  beautiful  soul. 
Her  excellent  heart  rejected  every  thought  of  suspicion,  and 
when  the  second  interview  took  place  she  no  longer  refused 
her  confidence. 

This  was  Mademoiselle  Fouche's  scheme.  Like  a  true 
Christian,  inspired  by  the  purest  and  most  devoted  zeal,  she 
offered  to  bring  a  priest  to  see  the  Queen.  The  pious 
princess  accepted  the  offer  eagerly.  "  But,"  she  said,  "  do 
you  know  one  who  is  a  non-juror  ?  "  Being  reassured  on  that 
point,  to  which  she  attached  the  greatest  importance,  she 

1  The  Le  Monde  newspaper  published  on  the  23rd  July,  1864,  the 
following  letter  from  the  Rev.  Father  Fouche,  which  with  regard  to  one 
or  two  points  supplements  the  story  of  the  Comte  de  Robiano. 

"  I  knew  M.  Charles  Magnin  very  intimately.  During  the  Revolution 
of  '89  he  took  refuge  with  the  Demoiselles  Fouches,  my  father's  sisters ; 
and  from  that  time  forward  he  never  left  them.  Indeed,  I  had  been 
taught,  when  staying  with  my  aunts,  to  call  him  'Uncle.'  This  was  a 
stratagem  intended  to  avert  suspicion.  I  have  several  times  heard 
Mile.  Fouche,  the  elder  of  the  two  sisters,  relate  how  she  had  managed 
to  get  into  the  Conciergerie.  She  was  received  by  the  Queen  with  an  icy 
coldness  that  is  easily  accounted  for.  The  things  she  had  brought  with 
her  (stockings,  linen,  food)  to  give  to  the  Queen,  had  no  more  favourable 
effect.  She  even  went  so  far  as  to  eat  a  piece  of  bread-and-jam  in  order  to 
do  away  with  any  idea  of  her  intentions  being  sinister.  As  all  her  efforts 
failed  she  felt  she  must  adopt  some  more  persuasive  means.  '  Madame,' 
she  said  to  the  Queen,  'the  state  of  public  opinion  is  such  that  it  is 
impossible  for  you  any  longer  to  entertain  the  least  hope.  Religion  alone 
can  give  you  its  final  consolation,  and  it  is  in  order  to  procure  this  for  you 
that  I  have  dared  to  come  to  you.  If  you  accept  my  suggestion  I  am 
confident  of  being  able  to  put  you  in  touch  with  a  non-juring  catholic 
priest.  If  your  Majesty  will  deign  to  answer  me  I  will  neglect  nothing  in 
my  efforts  to  serve  you. " 

The  effect  of  these  words  was  immediate.  The  Queen  threw  herself 
into  my  aunt's  arms,  embraced  her  tenderly,  and  expressing  her  gratitude 
declared  that  her  one  desire  was  to  realise  these  promises. 

S.  FoucHti,  S.  J. 

209  P 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

agreed  that  on  the  occasion  of  the  third  visit  M.  Magnin 
should  be  brought  in ;  and  Mademoiselle  Fouche,  who 
thought  of  everything,  begged  her  Majesty,  if  the  ecclesiastic 
did  not  suit  her,  merely  to  make  a  sign,  upon  which  he  would 
go  away. 

If  Mademoiselle  Fouche  had  found  it  difficult  to  approach 
the  Queen  the  difficulties  in  the  case  of  M.  Magnin  were  far 
greater.  The  most  persistent  entreaties  and  arguments, 
combined  with  Richard's  long  acquaintance  with  these  two, 
who  had  always  been  careful  not  to  compromise  him,  again 
overcame  his  objections.  M.  Magnin,  who  during  the  other 
visits  had  waited  outside,  was  allowed  to  follow  Mademoiselle 
Fouche.  He  inspired  the  Queen  with  so  much  confidence 
that  she  conversed  with  him  for  an  hour  and  a  half.  Tears 
of  joy  and  gratitude  lay  upon  her  cheeks,  which  for  so  long 
had  only  glistened  with  tears  of  utmost  bitterness.  She 
embraced  Mademoiselle  Fouche  rapturously,  and  begged  that 
M.  Magnin  might  accompany  her  whenever  she  was  able  to 
enter  the  prison  herself :  which  he  did.  Richard,  somewhat 
reassured  by  the  success  of  the  experiment,  promised  them 
that  they  should  often  take  advantage  of  the  days  when  the 
well-disposed  gendarmes  were  on  guard. 

Her  Majesty  confessed  herself  several  times  ;  and  about 
fifteen  days  after  the  admission  of  M.  Magnin,  who  was  in 
the  habit  of  carrying  consecrated  wafers  to  the  prisoners  in  a 
box  hung  round  his  neck,  she  had  the  happiness  of  receiving 
the  Holy  Communion  in  the  Conciergerie,  with  a  sense  of 
comfort  and  support  that  one  may  imagine  but  that  cannot 
possibly  be  put  into  words. 

In  the  meantime  Mademoiselle  Fouche  had  obtained  the 
Queen's  permission  to  substitute  some  fine  chemises  and 
various  other  little  things  for  the  extremely  coarse  linen  that 
had  been  unblushingly  provided  for  her.  Being  obliged  to 
take  several  persons  into  her  confidence  with  regard  to  her 
good  fortune  in  visiting  the  Queen  and  being  of  some  use  to 
her,  she  had  spoken  of  it  to  Madame  de  Quelen  among 
others,  the  mother  of  Monseigneur  the  Archbishop  of  Paris. 
This  virtuous  lady  and  devoted  royalist,  hearing  that  the 
Queen  was  then  wearing  a  shabby  black  gown,  torn,  and 

210 


RECOLLECTIONS  OF  MLLE.  FOUCHE 

coarsely  mended  with  white  cotton,  eagerly  offered  her  best 
dresses  to  Mademoiselle  Fouche.  But  a  sudden  thought  put 
an  end  to  their  pleasure.  Every  day  the  commissioners  came 
several  times  to  inspect  the  prison,  and  their  suspicions  would 
certainly  be  roused  by  the  sight  of  a  new  dress.  It  was 
therefore  necessary  for  the  ladies  to  confine  their  attention  to 
under-garments.  The  fear  lest  even  a  more  suitable  pair  of 
shoes  should  betray  the  important  secret  prevented  them 
from  providing  anything  of  that  kind. 

The  dampness  and  coldness  of  the  prison  suggested  to 
Mademoiselle  Fouche  the  idea  of  procuring  some  warmer 
stockings  for  the  Queen.  The  sisters  of  La  Charite  Saint- 
Roch,  of  whom  three  are  still  alive,  eagerly  supplied  these. 
Alas !  fragments  of  these  stockings  —  unmistakable  on 
account  of  the  thick  lining  formed  by  long  ends  of  filoselle 
silk — were  found  on  the  body  of  the  unfortunate  Marie 
Antoinette. 

Mademoiselle  Fouche,  having  heard  that  the  Queen  liked 
rye-bread,  made  an  arrangement  with  a  baker  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood of  the  Conciergerie,  and  took  care  that  every 
second  day  Her  Majesty  should  be  supplied  with  this  little 
sign  of  consideration  and  attention. 

The  royal  prisoner  was  much  touched  by  these  marks  of 
devotion,  and  showed  her  gratitude  for  them.  She  showed, 
too,  the  most  entire  confidence,  and  expressed  it  in  moving 
terms.  She  had  neither  pen,  ink,  nor  paper  ;  but  an  admir- 
able sense  of  delicacy  and  generosity  always  forbade  her  to 
accept  Mademoiselle  Fouche's  repeated  offers  to  provide  her 
with  writing  materials.  "  If  you  were  surprised  with  a  single 
word  of  mine  in  your  possession,"  she  said,  "  your  death 
would  be  a  certainty." 

One  night  the  Queen  produced  a  very  simple  little  ebony 
box  that  had  been  left  in  her  possession ;  how,  I  do  not 
know,  for  an  oversight  of  this  kind  was  very  inconsistent 
with  the  minute  searches  and  spoliation  to  which  the  royal 
family  had  been  subjected.  The  little  box  contained  a 
porcelain  cup  mounted  in  silver.  The  Queen  confided  it  to 
Mademoiselle  Fouche's  care,  saying :  "  If  you  possibly  can, 
give  this  last  souvenir  to  Madame  Royale ;  but  if  these 

p  2 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

unhappy  times  should  prevent  you  from  putting  my  daughter 
in  possession  of  it,  I  give  the  cup  to  you.  Keep  it  in  memory 
of  me.""  It  was  with  the  greatest  respect  that  Mademoiselle 
Fouche  received  this  farewell  gift,  the  only  possession  of  the 
Queen  of  France !  Afterwards,  she  several  times  consulted 
Madame  la  Princesse  de  Chimay,  Madame  la  Princesse  de 
Tarente,  and  Madame  la  Comtesse  de  Golowkin  as  to  the 
best  means  of  conveying  her  precious  charge  to  her  Royal 
Highness  Madame  la  Duchesse  d'Angouleme.  At  last,  in 
1804,  the  Duchesse  de  Tarente,  who  was  returning  to  Russia, 
undertook  the  care  of  it,  and  the  Duchesse  d'Angouleme, 
having  received  it  at  Mittau,  was  good  enough  to  acknow- 
ledge the  receipt  of  it  in  an  autograph  letter  which 
Mademoiselle  Fouche  has  carefully  preserved. 

About  this  time  a  certain  Michonis,  a  commissioner,  took 
into  the  prison  a  stranger  who  tried  to  put  into  the  Queen's 
hands  a  carnation  containing  a  little  piece  of  paper.  The 
paper  fell  to  the  ground,  and  the  commissioners  took  posses- 
sion of  it  instantly,  and  afterwards  this  fruitless  attempt  was 
punished  with  vindictive  cruelty.  Mademoiselle  Fouche  went 
to  the  Conciergerie  that  day  and  found  everything  changed. 
Without  daring  to  ask  for  an  explanation  she  went  to  the 
prison  of  La  Force,  the  gaoler  of  which  was  a  certain  M. 
Bault,  an  honest  man  whose  heart  was  not  insensible  to  pity. 
A  sister  of  the  Saint-Louis  Hospital,  who  is  still  living, 
secured  an  interview  with  Madame  Bault  for  Mademoiselle 
Fouche,  who  then  heard  of  the  Michonis  affair,  of  Richard's 
discharge,  and  of  his  being  replaced  at  the  Conciergerie  by 
M.  Bault. 

This  incident  would  have  alarmed  anyone  else,  but  on 
account  of  the  last  circumstance  it  only  quickened  Mademoiselle 
Fouche's  ardour.  She  knew  M.  Bault,  and  respected  him. 
She  sought  him  out,  told  him  in  confidence  what  Richard 
had  allowed  her  to  do,  and  begged  him  to  go  and  ask  the 
Queen  to  confirm  her  statements.  This  message  having  had 
the  result  that  Mademoiselle  Fouche  expected,  her  next  care 
was  to  speak  to  M.  Bault  of  the  dampness  in  the  cell,  which 
was  so  great  that  on  the  occasion  of  her  first  visit  she  had 
felt  her  cuffs  and  coif  quite  wet.  The  gaoler  hunted  out  a 


RECOLLECTIONS  OF  MLLE.  FOUCHE 

piece  of  old  carpet  in  the  attics  of  La  Force,  and  nailed  it 
against  the  wall  in  her  Majesty's  room.  Any  less  shabby  or 
less  common  piece  of  stuff  would  not  have  been  tolerated. 
As  it  was  the  commissioners  noticed  it,  and  spoke  severely 
about  it  to  M.  Bault,  who  said  to  them :  "  Citizens,  I  am 
answerable  with  my  head  for  the  prisoner.  It  would  be 
possible,  by  speaking  with  a  loud  voice,  to  make  her  hear 
anything  that  was  said,  and  to  receive  answers  from  her. 
This  thick  carpet  will  prevent  that."  Bault's  precaution  was 
approved  of,  and  the  carpet  remained  where  it  was. 

Taking  advantage  of  Bault's  good-will,  M.  Magnin  and 
Mademoiselle  Fouche  determined  to  give  the  Queen  the 
unexpected  happiness  of  taking  part  in  the  celebration  of 
Holy  Mass  in  her  melancholy  cell.  When  Mademoiselle 
Fouche  made  this  further  suggestion  to  M.  Bault  he  was 
much  taken  aback  by  the  request.  She  entreated,  she 
insisted,  and  she  had  her  way.  "  Do  not  be  anxious,  my  dear 
M.  Bault,"  she  said  to  him ;  "  you  need  only  be  at  the 
trouble  of  procuring  two  little  candlesticks  for  me :  we  will 
see  to  all  the  rest."  And  they  hastily  set  to  work  to  obtain 
a  chasuble  of  simple  taffetas,  some  linen  to  cover  the  table 
that  was  to  serve  as  an  altar,  a  silver  chalice  that  took  to 
pieces,  the  consecrated  stone,  a  little  missal,  the  flagons,  and 
two  tapers.  Such  were  the  preparations,  and  such  the  light 
burdens  shared  by  the  two  friends. 

The  Queen  had  been  apprised  of  their  coming,  and  was 
joyfully  awaiting  the  boon  that  she  desired  more  than  any- 
thing in  the  world.  After  the  celebration  of  the  Mass  she 
wished,  in  her  humility,  that  her  warders  and  her  guardian 
angel  might  be  treated  as  her  equals  in  receiving  the  Holy 
Eucharist,  but  the  Abbe  Magnin  desired  the  Queen  of  France 
to  receive  it  first.  She  obeyed;  and  then  the  consecrated 
wafer  was  presented  to  Mademoiselle  Fouche  and  the  two 
soldiers.  The  Queen,  melting  into  tears  at  the  feet  of  her 
God,  confided  the  fate  of  her  children  to  His  care,  and 
besought  Him  for  strength  to  bear  her  present  misery,  and 
for  resignation  in  the  terrible  future  that  awaited  her  on 
earth. 

About  this  time,  near  the  end,  M.  Magnin  fell  seriously 

213 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

ill  and  was  confined  to  his  bed.  Her  Majesty  was  much 
distressed.  Mademoiselle  Fouche  suggested  that  she  should 
see  another  priest,  and  twice  succeeded  in  taking  into  the 
Conciergerie  M.  Cholet,1  a  Vendeen  priest,  who  gave  the 
Queen  the  last  aids  of  religion  two  days  before  she  was  tried 
by  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal. 

And  yet  the  storm  that  never  ceased  to  threaten  that 
royal  head  did  not  then  seem  to  be  on  the  point  of  breaking. 
Mademoiselle  Fouche  thought  she  might  safely  go  away  to 
Orleans,  whither  she  was  summoned  by  urgent  business  that 
admitted  of  no  delay.  And  then,  suddenly,  during  her  short 
absence,  the  Queen  was  dragged  before  the  Tribunal.  It 
was  only  in  the  course  of  her  own  trial  that  she  learnt  of 
the  horrible  terror  that  was  reigning  in  France,  and  of  the 
slaughter  by  which,  day  by  day,  all  the  royalism  and 
Christianity  in  the  country  was  being  stamped  out.  Seeing 
that  her  friends  of  the  prison  did  not  return,  she  must  have 
thought  they  had  perished,  and  it  is  no  doubt  this  sad 
belief  of  hers  that  explains  these  words  in  her  letter  :  Not 
knowing  whether  there  are  any  priests  of  this  religion  still 
alive. 

Mademoiselle  Fouche  returned  to  Paris  hoping  to  see  the 
Queen  again  at  once.  On  reaching  Etampes  she  was  informed 
by  some  people  who  had  just  left  Paris  that  on  that  very 
morning  Marie  Antoinette  had  died  upon  the  scaffold. 

1  In  UHistoire  de  Marie  Antoinette,  by  M.  de  Vyr6,  the  following  story 
is  told.  "  A  disguised  priest  went  into  the  Queen's  cell.  He  was  the 
vicar  of  Saint-M — ,  who  in  1791,  when  the  royal  family  was  imprisoned  in 
the  Tuileries  after  Varennes,  had  been  consulted  with  regard  to  a  new 
project  for  escape. 

"  The  vicar  of  Saint-M—,  then,  went  into  the  cell  trembling  like  a  child, 
and  walked  up  and  down  in  the  space  reserved  for  municipal  officers, 
while  the  gendarmes  were  playing  cards.  The  Queen  did  not  recognise 
him  ;  but  he  went  up  to  her  and  in  one  word  informed  her  of  the  object  of 
his  visit.  He  then  gave  her  absolution,  and  put  into  her  hands  a  round 
flat  silver  box  containing  a  wafer.  This  pyx  is  now  in  the  possession  of 
Madame  Alexandre  Legentil,  ne'e  Marcotte. 

"  The  vicar  of  Saint-M —  spoke  of  this  visit  to  two  persons  only,  his  friend 
Royer  Collard  and  his  own  niece,  through  whom  M.  de  Vyre  heard  of  it." 

Might  not  this  curt  of  Saint-M— (?)  be  the  Abbe  Cholet  ? 


THE   DECLARATION   OF   THE 
ABBE   MAGNIN 

(1825) 

STATEMENT  DRAWN  UP  BY  M.  MAGNIN,  CURE  OF  THE  PARISH 
OF  SA INT-GERM AIN-L"* A UXERROIS,  CONCERNING  QUEEN  MARIE 
ANTOINETTE'S  COMMUNION  IN  THE  CoNciERGERiE.1 

HAVING  been  chosen  by  the  Lord,  in  spite  of  my  un worthi- 
ness, to  give  the  consolations  of  religion  to  the  unfortunate 
Marie  Antoinette  of  Austria,  Queen  of  France,  while  confined 

1  This  Declaration,  which  the  Abbe  Magnin  wrote  and  signed  with  his 
own  hand,  was  presented  in  1825  to  Charles  X.,  Madame  la  Dauphine, 
Monseigneur  the  Archbishop  of  Paris,  and  Monseigneur  d'Hermopolis,  and 
was  published  on  the  23rd  July,  1864,  in  the  journal  called  Le  Monde. 
The  original  manuscript  is  in  the  possession  of  Mile.  Fouche's  nephew.  A 
pamphlet  that  is  now  very  rare,  La  Communion  de  la  reine  Marie  Antoin- 
ette a  la  Conciergerie,  by  N.  M.  Troche,  supplies  the  following  details. 
The  Duchesse  d'Angouleme  had  known  of  the  pious  deed  in  the  Conciergerie 
as  early  as  the  year  1804,  during  her  exile  at  Mittau  in  Courland,  whence 
she  sent  grateful  messages  to  Mile.  Fouche.  Later  on,  after  the  restora- 
tion of  the  august  royal  family,  she  sought  an  opportunity  of  showing  her 
gratitude  to\M.  Magnin.  This  opportunity  soon  presented  itself.  Various 
reasons,  known  to  the  ecclesiastical  authorities,  necessitated  the  removal 
of  the  venerable  M.  Valayer,  at  that  time  cure  of  Saint-Germain-d'Auxer- 
rois.  He  was  transferred  to  Saint-Nicolas-des-Champs,  and  M.  Magnin 
succeeded  him  on  the  5th  Nov.,  1816,  thus  becoming  the  vicar  of  the  parish 
of  the  Tuileries. 

From  1816  to  1831  M.  Magnin's  ministry  was  entirely  that  of  a  father 
revered  by  his  spiritual  children.  The  revolution  of  July  passed  over  his 
head  without  touching  him.  But  on  the  13th  Feb.,  1831^  on  the  ostensible 
pretext  of  the  service  he  performed  for  the  repose  of  Monseigneur  le  due 
de  Berry's  soul,  his  church  was  horribly  profaned  and  pillaged,  after 
which  it  remained  closed  until  the  13th  May,  1837.  During  these  six 
years  his  position,  with  regard  to  his  ecclesiastical  status,  was  as  deplor- 
able and  as  sad  as  that  of  Monseigneur  de  Quelen  ;  but  he  bore  it  with 
courage  and  energy,  and  for  some  time  resisted  all  the  efforts  of  the  civil 
authorities  to  make  him  resign.  At  last,  however,  realising  that  it  was 

215 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

in  the  prison  of  the  Conciergerie,  I  thought  it  my  duty  to 
preserve  a  strict  silence  with  regard  to  an  event  that  I  have 
always  attributed  to  the  intervention  of  God.  His  merciful 
designs  upon  a  soul  that  was  dear  to  Him  broke  down  all  the 
difficulties  and  innumerable  obstacles  that  I  had  to  overcome. 
It  was  my  duty  to  give  Him  all  the  glory  and  remain  in  the 
shade  myself. 

Uncontrollable  circumstances,  and  the  advice  of  several 
people  in  the  first  ranks  of  society,  whose  intelligence  equals 
the  integrity  of  their  hearts,  now  oblige  me  to  leave  the 
shade,  to  break  silence  and  publish  the  truth. 

I  am  therefore  going  to  tell  this  interesting  story,  with 
thejsimplicity  that  it  demands.  I  shall  recount  to  the  whole 
French  nation  how  in  those  days  of  cruel  memory,  when  our 
august  sovereign,  who  had  been  dragged  from  one  of  the 
grandest  thrones  of  the  world,  was  sighing  in  a  prison  cell, 
the  Lord  sent  one  of  His  ministers  to  her,  to  fill  her  soul  with 

only  at  this  price  that  his  church  would  be  re-opened  in  accordance  with 
his  parishioners'  wishes,  he  begged  Monseigneur  the  Archbishop  to  allow 
him  to  resign,  and  his  resignation  was  sent  to  King  Louis-Philippe. 

I  must  here  draw  attention  to  the  fact  that,  though  he  was  exposed  to 
many  calumnies  during  this  six  years'  ordeal,  M.  Magnin's  honesty  with 
regard  to  his  pious  relations  with  the  Queen  in  the  Conciergerie  was  not 
called  in  question  by  any  newspaper  or  publication  whatever.  It  was 
well  known,  moreover,  that  the  facts  of  the  case  were  familiar  to  the 
Bourbon  family.  This  is  proved  beyond  a  doubt  by  the  following  circum- 
stance. In  the  Salon  of  1819  the  painter  Menjaud  exhibited  a  picture 
representing  Her  Majesty  Queen  Marie  Antoinette  receiving  the  Communion 
from  the  hands  of  the  Abbe  Magnin,  whose  features  are  recognisable. 
Mile.  Fouche  and  the  two  gendarmes  are  also  present.  This  interesting 
composition  aroused  much  admiration  and  emotion  among  the  general 
public,  while  to  the  royal  family  it  was  a  source  of  consolation.  King 
Louis  XVIII.  examined  it  with  the  liveliest  interest,  and  a  few  days  after 
his  visit  to  the  Salon  His  Majesty  was  good  enough  to  address  a  few 
complimentary  words  to  the  vicar  of  Saint-Germain-PAuxerrois. 

Many  people  who  had  the  pleasure  of  seeing  this  touching  picture,  and 
some  who  knew  it  only  through  the  accounts  in  the  newspapers,  expressed 
a  wish  that  this  memorial  might  be  reproduced  as  an  engraving,  since  the 
incident  it  represented  was  not  only  of  a  most  consoling  nature,  but  also 
did  honour  to  religion.  With  a  view  to  fulfilling  this  wish,  MM.  Bazin 
and  Civeton,  two  artists  well  known  for  their  good  \\ork  and  their 
excellent  principles,  engraved  with  the  greatest  care  a  lithograph  of 
M.  Menjaud's  picture,  in  order  that  the  memory  of  the  remarkable  event 
it  represented  might  be  preserved.  Madame  la  duchesse  d'Angouleme 
having  consented  to  accept  the  dedication  of  the  lithograph,  they  had  the 
honour  of  presenting  it  to  her,  and  Her  Royal  Highness  was  kind  enough 
to  say  that  she  was  pleased  at  their  reproducing  this  interesting  subject, 
and  that  their  work  seemed  to  her  to  be  skilfully  done. 

216 


THE   ABBtf    MAGNIN,    THE   LAST   CONFESSOR   OF   THE   QUKEN. 

From  an  unpublished  picture  preserved  in  the  sacristy  of  the  Church  of 
Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois. 


OF  THE 

UNIVERSITY 


DECLARATION  OF  THE  ABBE  MAGNIN 

all  the  consolation  that  religion  offers  to  the  unhappy.  I 
shall  dissipate  the  doubts  and  suspicions  that  have  arisen, 
and  I  shall  leave  no  uncertainty  in  the  minds  of  the  public  as 
to  the  truth  of  this  memorable  circumstance,  which  history 
will  not  fail  to  transmit  from  age  to  age  to  our  most  remote 
descendants,  with  all  that  concerns  the  misfortunes  of  the 
royal  family.  I  shall  give  details  that  will  be  some  con- 
solation to  the  latter,  and  especially  to  the  Princess  whose 
virtues  are  so  admirable  and  whose  heroic  courage  has  sup- 
ported her  through  such  terrible  trials. 

I  shall  give  her  the  certain  knowledge  that  her  royal 
mother,  the  victim  of  man's  injustice  and  cruelty,  was  com- 
forted, strengthened,  and  prepared  for  the  final  ordeal  by  those 
pious  and  moving  ceremonies  that  made  her  forget  the 
ingratitude  of  her  subjects.  I  shall  speak  for  the  honour  of 
religion  and  its  ministers,  and  shall  defend  them  from  the 
impious  violence  of  men  without  principle  or  faith,  consistent 
foes  of  the  throne  and  the  altar,  who  have  made  it  their 
business  to  ridicule,  deny,  and  reject  everything  that  could 
tend  to  the  glory  of  God.  But  before  beginning  this  story  I 
must  introduce  Mademoiselle  Fouche,  my  excellent  partner  in 
this  work  of  Divine  Providence. 

Mademoiselle  Fouche,  a  member  of  a  respectable  family 
from  Orleans,  and  herself  deserving  of  much  esteem  on 
account  of  her  piety,  had,  at  the  beginning  of  the  schism 
that  was  so  disastrous  to  the  Church  of  France,  become 
intimate  with  various  people  who  were  distinguished  alike  by 
their  birth  and  their  virtues.  Having  dedicated  herself  to 
works  of  charity  she  visited  the  victims  of  the  Revolution  in 
prison,  found  asylums  for  persecuted  royalists,  and  facilitated 
the  flight  of  those  who  were  trying  to  escape  the  fury  of  their 
enemies. 

Some  very  distinguished  people  owed  their  peace  and  safety 
to  the  services  she  had  rendered  them,  and  were  eager  in  their 
expressions  of  gratitude.  Being  suspected  of  receiving  priests 
at  her  house,  as  well  as  emigres  who  had  returned  to  France, 
she  was  arrested,  but  the  temporary  loss  of  her  freedom  did 
not  in  the  least  diminish  her  zeal.  When  visiting  the  prisoners 
in  the  Conciergerie  she  made  the  acquaintance  of  the  Sieur 

217 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

Richard,  who  was  the  gaoler  there.  She  had  the  courage — 
to  this  I  bear  witness — to  persuade  the  gaoler  to  admit  her 
to  the  Queen's  cell.  Her  reiterated  entreaties,  combined  with 
tact  and  skill,  had  all  the  success  that  she  could  wish.  To  her 
great  happiness  she  was  taken  to  the  Queen's  room,  and  was 
able  to  offer  her  a  few  comforts  to  alleviate  her  painful  and 
distressing  privations.  Inspired  by  Heaven,  and  assured  of 
the  illustrious  prisoner's  consent,  she  urgently  begged  that 
she  might  be  allowed  to  take  me  with  her  into  Her  Majesty's 
cell,  and  secured  permission  to  do  so. 

I  declare,  then,  that  with  the  assistance  of  the  Most  High, 
I  had  the  happiness  of  receiving  the  confession  of  the  Queen 
of  France  on  two  occasions,  and  of  giving  her  the  Holy 
Communion,  while  Richard  was  still  the  gaoler  of  the 
Conciergerie. 

I  declare  further  that  the  Sieur  Bault,  who  succeeded 
Richard  at  the  Conciergerie,  and  knew  Mademoiselle  Fouche 
while  he  was  gaoler  of  La  Force,  also  yielded  to  her  entreaties ; 
she  was  again  admitted  to  the  cell.  Once  more  the  presence 
of  this  devoted  creature  brought  a  little  brightness  into  the 
Queen's  sad  surroundings ;  and  I  too,  owing  to  Mademoiselle 
Fouche's  efforts  and  prayers,  won  from  the  new  warder  the 
happiness  of  visiting  Her  Majesty. 

Remembering  what  had  taken  place  when  Louis  XVI.  was 
in  the  same  circumstances  in  the  Temple,  and  knowing  the 
Queen's  feelings  on  the  subject,  I  suggested  to  her  that  I 
should  celebrate  Holy  Mass  in  the  dark  hole  in  which  she  was 
imprisoned,  and  should  give  her  the  Holy  Communion.  I 
assured  Her  Majesty  that  we  could  easily  bring  with  us  all 
the  things  necessary  for  these  solemn  ceremonies.  For  during 
these  dreadful  times  we  had  in  our  possession  three  little 
chalices  that  took  to  pieces,  some  small  18mo  missals,  and 
some  portable  altar-stones,  rather  longer  than  the  foot  of  a 
little  chalice.  All  these  things  fitted  into  a  work-bag,  and 
we  could  easily  hide  them  in  our  pockets. 

The  Queen  gratefully  accepted,  and  thanked  us  for  the 
suggestion.  Among  the  gendarmes  who  were  employed  to 
guard  this  particular  cell  we  had  noticed  two  whose  respect 
for  their  sovereign  and  open  manifestation  of  their  religious 

218 


DECLARATION  OF  THE  ABBE  MAGNIN 

feelings  had  inspired  us  with  complete  confidence.  As  they 
were  well  known  to  the  gaoler,  I  did  not  hesitate  to  inform 
them  of  the  good  fortune  that  the  Queen  was  about  to  enjoy, 
and  these  men,  who  were  good  Christians  as  well  as  loyal 
French  subjects,  expressed  their  desire  to  have  a  share  in  this 
glorious  privilege. 

The  day  of  the  sacred  ceremony  having  been  agreed  upon, 
the  gaoler  came  to  meet  us  during  the  night  at  a  particular 
spot,  and  took  us  into  the  prison.  I  heard  the  Queen's  con- 
fession. Mademoiselle  Fouche  was  prepared  to  receive  her 
Saviour,  and  the  two  gendarmes  assured  me  that  they  also 
were  ready,  and  earnestly  desired  to  communicate  in  these 
fortunate  and  unexpected  circumstances. 

I  celebrated  Holy  Mass,  and  gave  the  Communion  to  the 
Queen,  who,  as  she  fortified  herself  with  the  eucharistic  bread, 
received  from  God  the  courage  to  bear  uncomplainingly  all 
the  torture  that  awaited  her.  Mademoiselle  Fouche  and  the 
two  gendarmes  were  at  the  same  time  admitted  to  the  divine 
banquet. 

Having  undertaken  to  tell  my  story  in  few  words,  I  cannot 
possibly  dwell  upon  the  emotion  to  which  so  touching  a  scene 
must  give  rise.  It  took  place  early  in  October,  1793,  and  as 
I  fell  ill  shortly  afterwards  this  was  the  last  time  I  had  the 
honour  of  seeing  Her  Majesty.  Mademoiselle  Fouche  was 
more  fortunate ;  and  she  introduced  in  my  place  M.  Cholet,  a 
priest  from  La  Vendee.  This  ecclesiastic  gave  the  Communion 
to  the  Queen  during  the  night  of  the  12th  of  the  same  month, 
and  immediately  afterwards  left  France  to  take  refuge  in 
England.  There,  according  to  information  obtained  by 
Madame  la  princesse  de  Chimay,  he  has  since  died. 

Such  is  the  authentic  and  solemn  declaration  that  I  hereby 
make.  Mademoiselle  Fouche,  whom  Providence  has  mercifully 
preserved,  has  supported  my  testimony  with  her  own  irre- 
futable evidence.  Calumny  has  made  it  a  matter  of  duty  to 
give  publicity  to  this  incident,  a  duty  that  I  felt  obliged  to 
fulfil.  The  two  gaolers  are  dead;  the  brave  gendarmes, 
victims  of  their  own  imprudence,  died  under  the  executioner's 
knife ;  and  Mademoiselle  Fouche  and  myself  are  the  only  two 
remaining  eye-witnesses.  I  will  add  one  or  two  facts  that  will 

219 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

throw  light  on  this  incident — which  some  have  dared  to  treat 
as  a  fable — and  will  confirm  my  assertion  that  Queen  Marie 
Antoinette  did  actually  receive  the  Communion  in  the 
Conciergerie. 

Although  our  actions  demanded  the  greatest  secrecy, 
various  reasons  determined  us  to  confide  in  several  people 
upon  whose  discretion  we  could  absolutely  rely.  More  than 
thirty  years  have  passed  since  then,  but  there  is  still  a  more 
than  sufficient  number  of  people  alive  to  bear  witness  to  the 
truth  of  what  I  have  just  declared. 

There  is,  for  instance,  Sister  Julie,  the  Superior  of  the 
Sisters  of  Charity  of  Saint-Roch ;  and  Sister  Jeanne,  of  the 
same  community.  Charitable  ladies  took  to  these  nuns  the 
articles  they  had  collected  to  alleviate  the  privations  of 
the  royal  captive.  It  was  from  them  that  Mademoiselle 
Fouche  received  a  pair  of  stockings  of  grey  filoselle,  thickly 
lined,  and  a  pair  of  elastic  garters.  It  was,  under  Providence, 
by  means  of  one  of  these  stockings,  and  of  the  preservation 
of  the  garters,  that  the  precious  remains  of  Marie  Antoinette 
were  identified  in  the  cemetery  of  the  Madeleine  ! 

Other  witnesses  to  whom  I  can  appeal  are  Mademoiselle 
Trouve,  Rue  de  Sevres,  opposite  to  the  Abbaye-aux-Bois,  who 
was  well  known  to  the  Princesse  de  Chimay ;  and  M.  Blandin, 
vicar-general  at  Orleans  and  cure  of  Saint-Paterne,  who  was 
in  hiding  in  this  town  at  that  time.  In  a  letter  that  he  wrote 
to  me  in  the  course  of  last  December,  he  reminded  me  that 
he  had  expressed  a  desire  to  share  both  our  happiness  and  our 
risks  ;  and  since  then  he  has  repeated  this  to  my  senior  curate. 

Certain  other  devout  persons,  having  known  of  the  incident 
that  took  place  in  the  Conciergerie,  gave  very  humble  thanks 
to  God  on  that  account. 

The  Princesse  de  Chimay,  hearing  on  her  return  to  France 
of  the  wonderful  circumstance,  told  the  Princesse  de  Tarente 
of  it  in  1803.  These  two  ladies  had  several  interviews  with 
us,  and  Madame  de  Tarente,  when  passing  through  Mittau  on 
her  way  to  Russia  in  the  following  year,  informed  her  Royal 
Highness  the  Duchesse  d'Angouleme  of  all  the  details  of  the 
Queen's  Communion — details  that  she  had  heard  from  us  and 
from  other  people  who  knew  them  already. 

220 


DECLARATION  OF  THE  ABBE  MAGNIN 

His  Majesty  Louis  XVIII.  and  Monseigneur  the  Due 
d'Angouleme  were  afterwards  informed  of  this  consoling 
circumstance,  and  the  royal  family  joyfully  blessed  the 
invisible  hand  that  had  made  it  possible,  and  had  carried  it 
to  a  successful  issue. 

When  Providence  gave  back  to  us  the  descendants  of  so 
many  kings,  for  whom  we  had  so  greatly  longed,  they  had 
already  known  of  our  zeal  and  devotion  for  more  than  ten 
years  ;  but  we,  satisfied  with  having  done  right,  and  desiring 
to  remain  unknown,  did  not  put  ourselves  forward. 

Madame  la  Princesse  de  Chimay  thwarted  our  intentions. 
She  begged  us  to  go  and  see  her,  and  then  questioned  us  with 
regard  to  the  scene  in  the  Conciergerie,  making  us  repeat  the 
details  that  she  had  known  for  a  long  time.  We  gave  in  to 
her  wishes,  but  we  earnestly  entreated  her  not  to  mention  our 
names  in  the  story  she  proposed  to  tell  Madame  la  Duchesse 
d'Angouleme,  and  not  to  make  the  facts  public. 

Surprised  at  our  resistance,  she  begged  M.  1'AbbeDesjardins, 
curt  of  Foreign  Missions,  and  now  first  vicar-general  of  the 
Archbishopric  of  Paris,  to  urge  me  to  allow  my  name  to  be 
given,  as  a  matter  of  conscience,  with  a  view  to  making  the 
story  more  authentic.  M.  Desjardins  recently  related  the 
circumstances  in  the  presence  of  Monseigneur  the  Archbishop 
of  Paris  and  a  large  number  of  ecclesiastics,  and  urged  me  to 
tell  the  story  myself.  I  was  obliged  to  obey. 

On  the  16th  October,  1814,  I  had  the  honour  of  being 
received  by  Madame  la  Duchesse  d'Angouleme  in  her  private 
sitting-room,  and  by  her  request  I  gave  an  accurate  account 
of  all  we  did,  and  of  the  help  that  Mademoiselle  Fouche  and 
I  were  fortunate  enough  to  give  to  her  august  mother,  and 
especially  of  the  way  in  which  God  had  made  it  possible  for 
us  to  give  her  the  Holy  Communion.  The  Princess  listened 
to  these  sad  details  in  reverent  silence,  with  an  expression  of 
the  liveliest  emotion. 

In  1817  Madame  Bault,  the  widow  of  the  man  who  was 
gaoler  at  the  prison  of  La  Force,  arid  was  afterwards  at  the 
Conciergerie  while  Richard  and  his  wife  were  in  prison,  offered 
me  a  copy  of  some  historical  notes  on  the  Queen's  last  days, 
and  wrote  me  a  letter,  from  which  the  following  is  an  extract : 

an 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

"  MONSIEUR, — 

The  account  I  have  had  drawn  up,  and  have  the 
honour  of  sending  you,  of  the  last  hours  of  the 
Queen,  cannot  be  dedicated  to  anyone  more  suitable 
than  yourself,  who  had  the  courage,  in  spite  of  end- 
less dangers,  to  make  your  way  into  that  august 
Princess's  prison,  in  order  to  give  her  the  conso- 
lations of  religion. 

Signed:  WIDOW  BAULT." 

The  original  of  this  letter,  the  signature  of  which  was 
identified  by  Bault  fits,  gaoler  at  Sainte-Pelagie,  has  been 
deposited  with  M.  Champion,  notary,  19  Rue  de  la  Monnaie, 
Paris. 

If  this  account  were  to  be  read  by  none  but  the  well- 
disposed,  who  would  be  likely  to  be  convinced  by  the  evidence 
I  have  put  forward,  I  would  stop  here ;  but  since  there  are 
others,  who  are  under  the  influence  of  opinions  and  teaching 
inimical  to  religion,  and  are  eager  to  misinterpret  and  distort 
every  fact  that  tends  to  the  glory  of  God,  I  shall  prolong  my 
story. 

The  fact  that  the  Queen,  in  her  letter  to  Madame 
Elizabeth,  said  nothing  of  her  Communion,  has  been  seized 
upon  by  these  people  as  a  proof  that  I  wished  to  impose  upon 
the  public.  I  do  not  feel  called  upon  to  explain  the  Queen's 
motives :  others  have  done  so  already,  and  have  said  all  there 
was  to  say. 

As  a  matter  of  fact,  the  consideration  of  the  dates  alone  is 
enough  to  explain  and  dissipate  the  only  possible  objection 
founded  on  Her  Majesty's  letter  to  Madame  Elizabeth.  It 
was  during  the  first  days  of  October,  1793,  that  M.  Magnin 
celebrated  Holy  Mass  in  the  Conciergerie,  and  during  the 
night  of  the  13th  of  the  same  month  that  M.  Cholet  again 
gave  the  Holy  Communion  to  the  Queen  :  and  it  was  on  the 
16th,  a  few  hours  before  entering  the  fatal  cart,  that  the 
Queen  wrote  her  immortal  letter  to  Madame  Elizabeth. 
Being,  therefore,  at  peace  with  God,  she  was  able  to  say  and 
to  write,  without  the  least  perversion  of  the  truth,  that  she 
was  in  no  need  of  spiritual  consolation,  seeing  that  she  had 


DECLARATION  OF  THE  ABBE  MAGNIN 

already  received  it.  The  need  for  caution,  and  her  wish  to 
shield  both  the  priests  who  had  helped  her  and  those  who  had 
achieved  bringing  them  to  her,  would  be  enough  to  suggest 
this  or  any  similar  expression.  Be  this  as  it  may,  the  facts 
speak  for  themselves;  and  the  following  is  a  still  more 
significant  one — a  word  spoken  by  the  Queen  herself,  which 
leaves  no  doubt  as  to  her  secret.  At  half-past  six  in  the 
morning,  when  she  had  just  confided  her  letter  to  the  gaoler, 
begging  him  to  see  that  it  reached  its  destination,  M.  Girard, 
a  priest  who  had  taken  the  oath  and  had  formerly  been  curt 
of  Saint-Landry,  but  was  now  vicar-general  of  Gobel  and 
constitutional  Bishop  of  Paris,  came  to  the  Queen  and  offered 
her  the  help  of  his  ministrations.  She  declined  it.  "  But, 
Madame,"  he  said,  "  what  will  people  say  when  they  know 
you  refused  the  consolations  of  religion  at  this  supreme 
moment  ?  "  The  Queen  replied :  "  You  may  tell  those  who 
speak  of  it  to  you  that  the  mercy  of  God  provided  for  me ! " 

M.  Girard  himself,  who  forsook  the  error  of  his  ways  and 
returned  to  the  bosom  of  the  Church,  did  not  hesitate  to  repeat 
Her  Majesty's  answer  to  his  representations.  He  told  it  to 
several  people,  and  notably  to  M.  de  Lagny,  cure  of  the  parish 
of  Bonne-Nouvelle,  who  made  a  point  of  relating  the  anecdote 
to  me  on  more  than  one  occasion,  and  more  particularly 
during  the  early  days  of  this  month  (January).  M.  Bertrand 
de  Molleville  also  records  the  circumstance  in  his  History  of 
the  Revolution  of  1789.  Assuredly,  if  a  commission  were 
appointed  to  examine  into  the  numerous  proofs  that  establish 
the  fact  of  the  Queen's  Communion  in  the  Conciergerie — and 
some  of  these  proofs  we  have  passed  over  in  silence — it  would 
be  obliged  to  proclaim  the  truth  of  the  story  in  the  face  of 
all  the  world.  Naturally,  then,  I  was  surprised  to  see  the 
widespread  publication  of  a  brochure  whose  sole  motive  was 
to  discredit  the  truth  of  this  incident,  and  to  deprive  the 
royal  family,  after  all  they  have  endured,  of  their  most 
cherished  source  of  comfort. 

But  my  surprise  was  still  greater  when  I  learnt  that  this 
composition,  La  fausse  communion  de  la  Reine,  was  the  out- 
come of  M.  FAbbe  Lafont  d'Aussonne's  remarkable  imagina- 
tion. I  should  have  been  glad,  for  the  honour  of  the  priest- 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

hood,  to  hide  the  fact,  but  it  is  too  well  known.  He  has  put 
his  name  to  his  work,  and  is  determined  not  to  let  anyone  else 
have  the  credit  of  it.  He  wrote  to  me  on  the  subject  himself. 

Nor  is  this  all.  The  writing  was  attached,  five  times  in 
succession,  to  the  door  of  my  church,  in  order  that  my  whole 
parish  might  know  about  it !  It  seems  to  me  that  all  I  have 
said  to  establish  the  fact  of  the  Queen's  Communion  in  the 
Conciergerie  will  suffice  to  refute  the  book  that  tries  to 
discredit  it ! 

Far  be  it  from  me  to  apply  to  its  author  the  coarse  terms 
of  abuse  that  he  so  liberally  bestows  upon  me ;  but  since, 
thanks  to  the  Almighty,  he  has  been  snared  in  his  own  net,  I 
need  not  hesitate  to  reveal  his  shameful  methods,  and  thus, 
by  means  of  his  own  words,  to  carry  conviction  into  the  most 
prejudiced  minds. 

M.  Lafont  d'Aussonne,  in  his  anxiety  lest  he  should  fail  to 
win  the  confidence  of  the  public,  tried  to  beguile  the  widowed 
Madame  Bault,  who  had  settled  at  Charenton.  He  paid  her 
a  visit,  and  employed  all  the  resources  of  his  fertile  imagina- 
tion in  his  efforts  to  persuade  her  to  draw  up  a  statement, 
denying  what  God  had  accomplished  in  the  Conciergerie. 
Madame  Bault,  insulted  by  such  a  suggestion,  rejected  his 
request  firmly  and  indignantly !  But  this  rebuff  did  not 
disconcert  him  at  all,  and  thinking  he  might  be  more  fortunate 
with  her  son,  he  visited  him  too,  to  prepare  his  mind  for  the 
suggestion  that  he,  Lafont  d'Aussonne,  was  about  to  make. 
On  the  following  day  he  wrote  this  letter  to  M.  Bault : 

Letter  from  M.  LAFONT  D'AUSSONNE  to  M.  BAULT, 

Gaoler  of  the  Prison  of  Sainte-Pelagie. 
MY  DEAR  MONSIEUR  BAULT, 

I  have  already  told  you  of  the  service  your  mother  rendered 
me  in  April,  1794,  when  she  said  to  the  famous  Heron,  who 
was  taking  me  to  La  Force  to  undergo  solitary  confinement : 
"  Citizen  Heron,  take  that  poor  young  man  somewhere  else  ; 
our  cells  are  full  of  scurvy  and  the  plague,  and  he  will  be 
dead  in  three  days  if  he  comes  here."  Your  mother  was  able 
to  recall  the  incident  when,  as  I  told  you,  my  friendship  and 
gratitude  led  me  to  visit  her  a  few  days  ago  at  her  house  in 


DECLARATION  OF  THE  ABBE  MAGNIN 

the  country.  I  take  a  heartfelt  interest  in  all  that  concerns 
her  good  name  and  that  of  her  late  husband,  your  father ; 
and  in  the  new  edition  of  my  Histoire  des  malheurs  et  de  la 
mort  de  la  Reine  I  will  clear  them  both  of  the  charge  of 
venality  which  the  Sieur  Magnin  has  brought  against  them  in 
a  widely-published  writing. 

In  the  meantime,  in  case  Madame  Bault  should  happen  to 
die  suddenly,  which  is  a  thing  that  may  occur  to  any  of  us,  I 
urgently  beg  you  to  ask  her  in  my  name  for  a  formal  and 
properly  signed  statement,  expressed  in  the  following  terms : 

"  I,  so-and-so  (her  maiden  name),  widow  of  M.  Bault,  who 
was,  during  his  lifetime,  gaoler  in  the  prison  of  La  Force,  and 
was  appointed  to  the  same  post  in  the  Conciergerie  during 
the  imprisonment  of  our  august  Queen  Marie  Antoinette  of 
Austria,  declare  and  attest  before  God,  and  call  my  soul  and 
conscience  to  witness,  that  my  late  husband  and  my  eldest 
daughter,  who  were  alone  entitled  to  approach  and  wait  upon 
Her  Majesty  in  prison,  and  were  surrounded  by  warders  and 
gendarmes,  never  admitted,  and  would  indeed  have  found  it 
physically  impossible  to  admit,  any  person  whatever  into  the 
cell  of  the  royal  prisoner.  I  attest  and  declare  before  God, 
my  sovereign  judge,  that  neither  my  husband  nor  my  daughter 
ever  received  any  money,  or  linen,  or  other  article  intended 
for  the  Queen,  and  that,  even  if  they  had  consented  to  receive 
anything,  the  articles  in  question  could  never  have  reached 
their  destination,  since  nothing  was  given  to  Her  Majesty 
except  through  the  office  of  the  registrar  of  the  Tribunal, 
which  office  was  inspected  and  managed  by  Fouquier-Tinville. 
And,  consequently,  I  declare  a  certain  octodecimo  publication 
to  be  false  and  calumnious ;  which  publication  Lafont  d'Aus- 
sonne,  the  author  of  a  work  on  the  death  of  the  Queen  of 
France,  showed  to  me,  saying  that  he  had  it  from  M.  Tabbe 
Magnin,  who  signed  it.  It  is  said  in  this  publication  that 
Mademoiselle  Fouche,  by  means  of  her  money ,  won  over  the 
Queen's  warders,  who  admitted  her  and  M.  Magnin  several 
times  to  the  cell  of  the  captive  Queen.  My  late  husband  was  a 
good  man :  he  would  never  have  accepted  a  bribe  in  the 
exercise  of  his  duties :  he  never  received  one  from  the  Sieur 
Magnin  or  Mademoiselle  Fouche  or  from  anyone  in  the  world  ; 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

he  loved  and  respected  the  Queen,  and  did  for  her  the  little 
that  it  was  possible  for  him  to  do  without  looking  for  any 
reward  but  the  satisfaction  of  his  feelings  and  the  fulfilment 
of  his  duty. 

Finally,  I  declare  that  neither  my  husband,  nor  my 
daughter,  nor  I,  knew  Mademoiselle  Fouche  and  M.  Magnin 
at  the  time  in  question  :  I  only  made  their  acquaintance  after 
the  return  of  the  royal  family,  and  my  object  in  doing  so  was 
merely  to  throw  light  upon  their  alleged  admission  to  the 
Conciergerie. 

In  witness  whereof,  at  Char  en  ton,  on  the ,  1822. 

WIDOW  BAULT." 

This,  Monsieur,  is  what  it  would  be  advisable  for  your 
mother  to  declare  formally.     In  any  case  I  shall  assert  in  my 
book  that  her  conversation  with  me  was  to  that  effect. 
With  kindest  regards, 

Signed:  LAFONT  D'AussoNNE. 

I  beg  to  call  the  reader's  special  attention  to  the  phrase  : 
"  In  any  case  I  shall  assert  in  my  book  that  her  conversation 
with  me  was  to  that  effect "  ;  a  luminous  phrase  when  thought- 
fully considered,  and  a  phrase  for  which  M.  Pabbe  Lafont 
would  have  a  good  deal  of  use.  It  surely  cannot  have 
astonished  those  who  had  the  advantage  of  knowing  him. 

M.  Bault  Jils  was  much  surprised  at  being  charged  with 
such  a  mission,  and  merely  forwarded  this  curious  letter  to 
his  mother,  who  for  her  part  felt  nothing  but  scorn  for  an 
attempt  that  was  so  insulting  to  all  her  finer  feelings.  She 
lost  no  time  in  sending  the  letter  in  question  to  me,  at  the 
same  time  expressing  her  indignation. 

M.  Lafont,  though  he  received  no  answer  to  this  wonderful 
letter  of  July,  1822,  which  had  fallen  into  my  own  hands,  did 
not  fail  to  fulfil  his  threats.  "  In  any  case  I  shall  assert  that 
her  conversation  with  me  was  to  that  effect ! "  He  had  been 
indignantly  repulsed  by  the  Widow  Bault.  but  he  thought 
proper  to  put  into  her  mouth  an  endorsement  of  his  senti- 
ments and  slanders  and  upon  this  foundation  he  built  up 
his  worthless  romance,  which  was  compiled  of  statements 
imputed  to  people  who  had  never  signed  them  nor  seen  them, 

226 


DECLARATION  OF  THE  ABBE  MAGNIN 

and  composed  of  scenes  that  had  never  taken  place  except  in 
his  imagination  ! 

Madame  Bault,  shortly  after  sending  me  this  letter  from 
Lafont  d'Aussonne,  wrote  to  me  on  the  30th  December,  1822, 
for  New  Year's  Day.  This  is  her  letter  : 

"  HONOURED  AND  REVEREND  SIR, 

I  beg  you  to  accept  my  very  sincere  wishes  and  prayers  for 
your  peace  of  mind  and  your  most  entire  happiness.  If  my 
prayers  are  granted,  the  treachery  and  malice  of  jealous 
persons  will  be  unable  to  injure  you  or  prevail  against  you  ; 
the  wicked  will  always  be  confounded.  I  implore  you  to 
continue  to  give  me  your  benevolent  protection,  and  assure 
you  that  the  sentiments  will  never  change  with  which  I  beg 
you  to  believe  me,  respected  and  reverend  Sir,  your  very 
humble  servant. 

Please  ask  Mademoiselle  Fouche  also  to  accept  my  wishes 
for  her  happiness. 

Signed:  WIDOW  BAULT. 

Charenton,  30th  Dec. 


I  will  make  no  observations  on  these  two  letters  that 
present  so  great  a  contrast,  the  first  of  which  failed  to  produce 
the  effect  expected  of  it  by  its  disingenuous  author.  I  submit 
them,  with  the  story  that  precedes  them,  to  the  consideration 
of  the  impartial  reader.  Let  him  judge. 

I  have  told,  in  simple  words,  as  I  promised,  the  story  of  a 
most  consoling  incident  :  the  Communion  of  our  Queen  in 
the  Conciergerie.  I  have  not  done  so  as  briefly  as  I  had 
hoped,  on  account  of  the  numerous  details  and  documents 
with  which  my  pen  had  to  deal.  I  have  even  omitted  some 
details  recorded  in  certain  notes  that  reached  me  lately,  which 
are  very  conclusive.  I  have  fulfilled  an  obligation  that  was 
laid  upon  me,  and  have  witnessed  to  the  truth  ;  and  whatever 
the  result  may  be  I  shall  always  have  the  support  of  my 
conscience,  and  that  is  enough  for  me. 

Executed  in  Paris,  Jan.  26th,  1825. 

Signed  :  MAGNIN, 
Cure  of  Saint-Germain-PAuxerrois. 
227  Q  2 


THE    TRIAL 
NOTES   BY  CHAUVEAU-LAGARDE1 

COUNSEL   FOR  THE   QUEEN 

(14TH-16TH  OCTOBER,  1793) 

THE  trial  began  at  eight  o'clock  in  the  morning.  It 
continued  without  a  pause  until  four  in  the  afternoon ;  was 
interrupted  till  five ;  and  then  went  on  until  four  o'clock  on 
the  following  morning ;  so  that  except  for  one  brief  interval 
of  relaxation  it  lasted  for  about  twenty  consecutive  hours, 
during  which  a  crowd  of  witnesses  were  examined  in 
succession. 

Imagine,  if  you  can,  the  force  of  will  required  by  the 
Queen  to  bear  the  fatigues  of  a  sitting  as  long  and  as  horrible 
as  this ;  to  endure  the  gaze  of  a  whole  crowd ;  to  pit  herself 
against  the  monsters  who  thirsted  for  her  blood ;  to 
defend  herself  against  the  snares  they  laid  for  her ;  to  over- 
throw all  their  objections;  to  keep  meanwhile  within  the 
bounds  of  decorum  and  moderation,  and  never  to  be 
unworthy  of  herself. 

Only  those  who  witnessed  every  detail  of  this  too-notorious 

1  Chauveau-Lagarde  was  in  the  country  on  the  14th  Oct.,  1793,  when  a 
messenger  came  to  inform  him  that  he  and  Tromjon-Ducoudray  had  been 
chosen  to  defend  the  Queen,  and  that  the  trial  was  to  begin  on  the 
following  day  at  eight  o'clock.  He  returned  to  Paris  at  once,  and 
hastened  to  the  Conciergerie.  "I  entered  the  Queen's  presence,"  he 
says,  "  with  feelings  of  the  most  devout  respect,  so  that  my  knees  were 
shaking  under  me,  .  .  .  and  such  was  my  embarrassment  that  it  could  not 
possibly  have  been  equalled  had  I  had  the  honour  of  being  presented  to 
the  Queen  amid  the  surroundings  of  her  Court." 

228 


NOTES   BY   CHAUVEAU-LAGARDE 

trial  can  have  any  true  idea  of  the   nobility  of  character 
shown  by  the  Queen  on  the  occasion. 

.  .  .  When  the  Court  rose  the  first  time  we  retired  to  the 
prison,  to  confer  together  for  a  moment  cm  the  progress  of 
the  trial  up  to  that  time.  We  were  still  surrounded  by 
gendarmes,  who  never  left  us. 

The  Queen  had  seen  Manuel's  name  on  the  list  of 
witnesses  who  were  to  be  heard  that  evening.  Knowing  that 
he  had  been  procureur  of  the  Commune  during  one  of  the 
most  horrible  periods  of  the  Revolution  she  thought  it 
a  name  of  evil  omen,  and  feared  he  would  be  unlikely  to  keep 
to  the  truth  in  his  deposition.  I  must,  however,  do 
Manuel's  memory  the  justice  of  saying  that  on  this  occasion 
he  had  the  honesty  to  say  nothing  that  could  by  any  means 
be  interpreted  to  the  Queen's  disadvantage. 

Meantime  the  Queen  asked  me  what  I  thought  of  the 
evidence  we  had  just  heard.  She  went  over  the  different 
points  of  it  with  perfect  accuracy,  and  complained  bitterly  of 
the  lies  of  which  it  was  chiefly  composed.  I  answered 
her  perfectly  truthfully  that  not  only  was  there  no  proof — 
which  was  a  matter  of  course — of  all  the  ridiculous  slanders 
of  the  witnesses,  but  there  was  not  the  slightest  evidence  to 
support  them ;  and  that  they  as  a  matter  of  fact  defeated 
their  own  object  by  their  very  scurrility,  and  by  the  baseness 
and  degradation  of  those  who  invented  them. 

"  In  that  case,"  said  the  Queen,  "  I  fear  no  one  but 
Manuel."  At  that  moment  de  Busne,  the  constabulary- 
officer,  was  relieved,  and  it  afterwards  transpired  that  these 
words  of  the  Queen  had  been  overheard  by  the  gendarmes, 
who  repeated  them  in  the  Tribunal.  .  .  . 

In  the  course  of  the  sitting  that  followed,  the  Queen  gave 
a  remarkable  .  .  .  proof  of  her  presence  of  mind  and 
strength  of  character. 

It  was  at  the  most  painful  moment  of  the  trial,  when  she 
had  just  experienced  a  violent  shock  to  her  feelings,  and  one 
of  her  finest  answers  to  an  odious  question  from  one  of  the 
jurymen  1  had  produced  a  movement  of  admiration  on  the 

1  His  name  is  unknown.     He  was  evidently  prompted  by  Hebert,  who 
was  present  at  the  trial. 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 


part  of  the  crowd,  which  for  an  instant  interrupted  the  pro- 
ceedings.1 She  noticed  the  impression  she  had  made,  and 
having  signed  to  me  to  go  up  to  the  steps  within  reach 
of  her,  Her  Majesty  said  to  me  in  a  low  voice : 

"  Did  I  not  put  too  much  dignity  into  my  answer  ?  " 

"  Madame,"  I  answered,  "  be  yourself,  and  you  will  always 
do  what  is  best.  But  why  do  you  ask  me  ?  " 

"  Because,"  said  the  Queen,  "  I  heard  a  woman  of  the 
people  say  to  her  neighbour :  See  how  proud  she  is ! " 

This  remark  shows  us  that  the  Queen  still  hoped;  and 
proves,  too,  that  her  blameless  conscience  made  her  alto- 
gether mistress  of  herself,  since  amid  all  this  violent  mental 
excitement  she  heard  everything  that  was  said  by  those 
round  her,  and  tried,  in  the  cause  of  her  own  innocence,  to 
adapt  both  her  silence  and  her  speech  to  the  situation.  .  .  . 

When  the  witnesses  had  all  been  examined,  my  colleague 
and  I  were  able  to  consult  together,  for  a  moment,  as  to  the 
best  line  to  take  in  our  speeches. 

M.  Tron9on-Ducoudray  undertook  to  defend  the  prisoner 
against  the  charge  of  conspiracy  with  the  people's  enemies  in 
France,  while  I  was  to  deal  with  the  charge  of  conspiracy 
with  the  foreign  powers. 

Hardly  had  we  agreed  to  this  arrangement,  and  given  each 
other  all  the  notes  that  might  possibly  bear  on  our  respective 
divisions  of  the  subject,  when  at  the  end  of  a  quarter  of 
an  hour  we  were  called  back  into  the  court  and  obliged 
forthwith  to  speak  without  preparation. 

There  can  be  no  doubt  that,  however  great  the  talent  that 
M.  Troncon-Ducoudray  showed  in  his  address,  and  however 
great  the  zeal  I  may  have  put  into  mine,  our  speeches  for  the 
defence  were  necessarily  unworthy  of  such  a  cause,  for  which 

J  "This  was  the  moment  when  Marie  Antoinette,  on  being  questioned 
with  regard  to  the  well-known  infamous  accusation,  turned  indignantly 
towards  the  seats  occupied  by  the  public,  and  appealed  to  every  mother. 
At  this  sublime  appeal  a  thrill  passed  through  the  audience  ;  the  tricoteuses 
were  moved  in  spite  of  themselves,  and  it  would  have  taken  very  little  to 
make  them  applaud.  .  .  .  Piercing  cries  arose,  women  were  carried  out 
fainting,  and  the  Court  was  obliged  to  call  the  audience  to  order." 

Information  communicated  to  Mme.  Simon-Vouet  by  the  brothers 
Humbert,  eye-witnesses.  (Maxime  de  la  Rocheterie,  Histoire  de  Marie- 
Antoinette.) 

230 


NOTES   BY   CHAUVEAU-LAGARDE 

all  the  eloquence  of  a  Bossuet  or  a  Fenelon  would  not  have 
sufficed,  or  at  least  would  have  been  powerless. 

After  pleading  for  two  hours  I  was  overcome  with  fatigu 
The  Queen  was  kind  enough  to  notice  this,  and  said  to  me  in 
the  most  touching  way  : 

"  How  tired  you  must  be,  M.  Chauveau-Lagarde  !  I  am 
very  grateful  for  all  your  efforts ! " 

These  words  were  heard  round  her,  and  did  not  fail  to 
reach  her  enemies.  The  sitting  was  suspended  for  a  moment, 
before  M.  Troncon-Ducoudray  began  to  speak.  I  tried  to 
reach  the  Queen,  but  in  vain,  for  a  gendarme  arrested 
me  under  her  very  eyes.  As  soon  as  M.  Troncon-Ducoudray 
had  finished  pleading  he  was  arrested  in  her  presence  in  the 
same  way ;  and  after  that  we  were  not  allowed  to  speak 
to  her  again.1 

1  The  Comte  Horace  de  Viel-Castel,  in  Marie- Antoinette  et  la  Revolution 
franqaise,  gives  a  striking  description  of  the  sitting  of  October  15th 
and  16th. 

"  At  four  o'clock  (in  the  afternoon  of  the  15th)  the  sitting  was  suspended, 
the  audience  partially  dispersed,  and  several  royalists  who  were  present 
in  disguise  hurried  away  to  their  friends  with  the  good  news  :  The  Queen 
will  be  banished.  Some  emissaries  of  the  Jacobin  Club  and  the  Commune 
slipped  in  among  those  whose  anxiety  or  curiosity  had  prompted  them  to 
remain,  keeping  a  watchful  eye  upon  the  former,  and  exciting  the 
revolutionary  hatred  of  the  others.  Long  intervals  of  silence  followed, 
interrupted  spasmodically  by  curses  directed  against  the  accused,  by 
complaints  against  the  judges,  and  by  threats  to  disregard  the  verdict  of 
the  jury  if  it  were  favourable  to  the  Queen. 

"Night  falls  early  on  the  15th  October;  the  cold  and  melancholy 
darkness  gathered  round  the  houses  ;  the  audience,  growing  ever  scantier, 
drew  together  ;  the  proceedings  were  resumed ;  the  buzz  of  conversation 
discreetly  became  fainter  ;  and  by  eleven  o'clock  there  was  no  more 
conversation.  Everyone  was  in  a  state  of  suspense.  The  passing  and 
re-passing  of  the  messengers  who,  every  quarter  of  an  hour,  were  bringing 
to  Robespierre  the  minutest  details  of  this  long  trial,  was  by  midnight  the 
only  interruption  to  the  silence  of  the  members,  who  sat  round  anxiously 
watching  the  royal  death-throes.  An  inspector  of  prisons  called  Ducatel, 
followed  by  four  or  five  of  his  subordinates,  was  trying  to  detect 
conspirators,  or  at  all  events  '  suspects,'  in  this  remnant  of  a  mob,  still 
afoot  in  the  middle  of  the  night,  whom  he  did  not  recognise  as  his 
comrades  of  the  6th  October,  1789,  nor  yet  as  his  comrades  of  September, 
1792. 

"The  presence  of  Ducatel,  whose  degraded  face  awakened  so  many 
horrible  memories  in  the  minds  of  the  royalists,  had  the  effect  of  chasing 
away  such  of  the  Queen's  friends  as  feared  to  attract  the  attention  of 
Mme.  de  Lamballe's  murderer,  the  man  who  had  struck  down  Marie 
Antoinette's  brave  and  faithful  companion  with  a  hammer. 

"  The  night  was  slipping  by  and  the  cold  growing  sharper  when  a  voice 

231 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

We  were  kept  in  custody  in  the  registrar's  office  while  the 
jury  were  considering  their  verdict.  It  was  impossible  for  us 
to  go  to  the  Queen  during  this  interval  as  we  had  promised, 
and  no  doubt  this  must  have  made  her  acutely  anxious  as  to 
the  issue  of  her  trial,  while  to  us  it  was  a  source  of  much 
bitterness  and  sorrow.  Soon  the  jury  returned  to  the  court 
to  announce  the  unanimous  result  of  their  deliberations. 
Surrounded  by  gendarmes,  among  whom  the  Queen  must 
have  seen  us  under  arrest,  we  were  led  back  to  the  court,  to 
hear,  with  her,  the  reading  of  that  terrible  decree  that 
sentenced  her  to  death. 

We  could  not  listen  to  it  undismayed.  The  Queen  alone 
heard  it  calmly.  All  that  one  could  see  was  that  there  took 
place  in  her  soul  at  that  moment  a  kind  of  revulsion  of  feeling 
that  struck  me  as  very  remarkable.  She  did  not  give  the 
least  sign  of  fear,  or  indignation,  or  weakness  ;  but  she  was, 

rang  out  with  the  announcement  that  the  addresses  to  the  jury  were  over. 
Soon  afterwards  another  voice,  which  seemed  to  come  through  &  moment- 
arily opened  window,  flung  into  the  hall  the  words  :  The  jury  are  consider- 
ing their  verdict ! 

"  Everyone  drew  near  the  doors.  For  a  few  moments  there  was  a  sound 
like  the  dashing  of  waves  upon  a  rocky  shore,  as  the  scattered  groups 
drew  together  into  one,  with  much  confused  rustling  and  the  shuffling  of 
many  feet.  Then  silence  fell  again  ;  the  supreme  moment  was  at  hand  ; 
friends  and  foes  alike  were  in  suspense.  Even  Ducatel  and  his  policemen 
stood  motionless,  with  their  eyes  turned  towards  the  doors  of  the 
Tribunal. 

"At  last,  at  four  o'clock  in  the  morning,  the  crowd  who  had  just  heard 
the  reading  of  the  Queen's  sentence  left  the  court  in  a  state  of  stupefaction, 
and  published  as  they  went  the  news  of  this  sentence  of  death  that  for  a 
moment  had  seemed  improbable.  From  mouth  to  mouth  the  tidings 
spread  that  Louis'  widow  was  to  be  executed  that  very  day  in  the  Place 
de  la  Revolution.  The  best-disposed  people  retired  to  their  houses,  and 
closed  their  shutters  against  the  sounds  that  would  shortly  be  heard  in 
the  streets  ;  while  the  most  morbid  repaired  to  the  spot  where  the 
execution  was  to  take  place,  and  took  up  their  position  there  in  the  best 
places,  that  is  to  say,  the  places  nearest  to  the  scaffold,  which  the 
executioner's  carpenters  were  already  putting  up. 

"  It  was  past  four  o'clock  in  the  morning  by  the  time  the  crowd,  the 
judges,  the  jury,  and  the  gendarmes  had  left  the  hall  of  the  Revolutionary 
Tribunal.  .  .  .  Fouquier-Tinville  had  retired  into  a  little  room  attached 
to  his  chambers,  and  had  flung  himself,  without  undressing,  on  a  bed  .  .  . 
while  the  jury,  whose  dinner  had  been  hasty,  went  down  to  the  refresh- 
ment-room and  there  awaited  the  daylight,  seated  before  a  supper  that 
they  had  ordered  beforehand.  .  .  .  And  while  the  public  prosecutor  was 
asleep,  and  the  jurymen  were  at  their  supper,  the  Queen  was  led  back  for 
a  few  hours  to  her  cell." 


NOTES   BY  CHAUVEAU-LAGARDE 

as  it  were,  stunned  by  surprise.  She  came  down  the  steps 
without  a  word,  without  a  gesture,  and  crossed  the  hall  as 
though  she  neither  saw  nor  heard;  then,  when  she  reached 
the  barrier  and  faced  the  crowd,  she  raised  her  head  with  the 
utmost  dignity.  It  is  Jplain  that  until  that  terrible 
moment  the  Queen  had  continued  to  hope-;  and  yet,  without 
hesitating,  she  displayed  the  finest  kind  of  courage,  for  it  is 
impossible  to  show  any  greater  courage  than  that  which 
survives  even  hope  itself. 

In  the  meantime  we  were  imprisoned  in  the  Conciergerie, 
whither  we  were  led  back  after  the  reading  of  the  sentence. 
We  were  kept  there  in  custody  in  separate  places,  and  there 
we  passed  the  night.  On  the  following  day  we  were  examined 
by  an  emissary  from  the  Tribunal,  who  was  accompanied  by 
gendarmes.  We  were  asked  if  the  Queen  had  not  told  us  of 
any  conspiracy  or  conspirator,  and  in  spite  of  our  resistance 
we  were  searched  like  criminals,  to  make  sure  that  she  had  not 
entrusted  us  with  any  papers  of  importance.  ...  If  the  Queen 
had  confided  a  secret  of  any  kind  to  us  nothing  could  have 
induced  us  to  reveal  it ;  but  in  this  respect  our  silence 
deserves  no  credit.  As  it  happened,  however,  the  Queen  had 
given  to  M.  Troncon-Ducoudray,  after  I  was  arrested,  in  the 
interval  between  our  two  speeches  and  just  before  he  began  to 
speak,  a  sealed  paper  containing  a  lock  of  hair  and  two  gold 
rings  which  the  Queen  had  worn  as  earrings ;  and  she  had 
asked  him  to  see  that  they  reached  the  person  for  whom  they 
were  intended.  He  was  unable  to  recover  this  packet  after  it 
had  been  taken  from  him,  and  its  destination  was  easily 
discovered  without  any  words  of  his,  seeing  that  the  name 
and  address,  which  he  told  me  afterwards  he  had  forgotten, 
were  on  the  envelope.1 

As  for  the  question  relating  to  possible  revelations  made  to 
us  by  the  Queen,  we  answered  that  she  had  made  none. 

In  my  case  they  were  very  persistent.  I  was  reminded  that 
during  the  trial  the  Queen  had  signed  to  me  to  go  up  to  her 

1  It  was  Madame  de  Jarjayes,  the  Queen's  first  woman-of-the-bed- 
chamber,  whose  husband  had  planned  the  escape  from  the  Temple,  and 
who  had  herself  won  the  Queen's  confidence  by  her  devotion.  She  was 
arrested  at  this  time  for  having  received  this  honourable  mark  of  the 
Queen's  remembrance.  —  (Note  by  Chauveau-Lagarde. ) 

233 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

near  the  steps,  so  that  she  might  speak  to  me  in  a  low  voice  ; 
and  that  at  another  time  she  had  certainly  spoken  to  me 
mysteriously  about  Manuel,  by  which  I  plainly  saw  that  the 
latter  had  not  been  forgiven  for  failing  to  slander  her.  .  .  . 
I  said  with  perfect  truth  that  on  both  these  occasions,  as  on 
all  others,  the  Queen  had  only  spoken  to  me  on  the  subject 
of  her  defence. 

After  we  had  been  searched  and  examined  we  were  left  in 
the  prison  ;  and  when  we  were  set  at  liberty  the  Queen  was  no 
more. 


234 


EXTRACT  FROM  THE  RECOLLECTIONS 
OF  MOELLE1 

A   MEMBER  OF  THE  COMMUNE   AND  A   WITNESS  IN   THE  TRIAL 

(15TH-16TH  OCTOBER,  1793) 

THOSE  who  were  implicated,  as  well  as  the  witnesses,  were 
heard  in  the  order  with  which  the  public  is  already  acquainted, 
until  about  two  o'clock  in  the  afternoon,  when  the  Court  rose 
for  the  first  time.  We  were  taken  into  the  registrar's  outer 
office,  where  I  dined  with  Bailly. 

Beside  us,  at  the  same  table,  sat  M.  de  la  Tour-du-Pin,2 
formerly  Minister  of  War,  and  M.  de  la  Tour-du-Pin- 
Gouvernet,  both  of  whom  were  implicated  in  the  trial  and 
were  afterwards  condemned  to  death  by  the  Revolutionary 
Tribunal. 

The  proceedings  were  resumed  at  three  o'clock,  and  those 
of  us  who  had  not  been  confronted  with  the  royal  prisoner 
were  taken  back  to  the  precincts  of  the  Tribunal,  to  the  room 
in  which  we  had  been  during  the  morning.  I  was  not  called 
at  all  on  the  first  day,  and  at  about  ten  o'clock  at  night  I  was 
taken  back  to  the  Abbaye  prison.  On  the  following  day,  the 
15th  October,  I  was  at  last  confronted  with  the  Queen. 

1  We  have  already  given  the  portion  of  Moelle's  Narrative  that  concerns 
the   imprisonment  in  the  Temple.     We  have  given  this  further  passage 
separately  because  it  supplements  Chauveau-Lagarde's  notes.     Later  on 
we  shall  quote  another  extract  from  the  same  narrative,  bearing  more 
particularly  on  the  subject  of  the  execution. 

2  M.  de  la  Tour-du-Pin,  when  he  appeared  before  the  Queen  in  the 
Tribunal,  made  her  a  profound  bow,  which  he   repeated  when  he  had 
finished  giving  his  evidence.     The  circumstances  being  what  they  were, 
this  act  of  homage  to  a  woman  in  the  depths  of  misfortune  showed  a  very 
high  degree  of  courage  and  determination. 


LAST  DAYS  OP  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

I  was  questioned  as  to  the  understanding  that  I  was 
accused  of  having  had  with  the  royal  family  in  the  Temple. 
I  answered,  on  this  count,  that  I  had  never  had  any  relations 
with  them  but  such  as  were  entailed  by  the  duties  of  my 
office  ;  and  that  on  the  part  of  the  royal  family  themselves  I 
had  noticed  nothing,  the  first  time  I  was  with  them,  beyond 
the  curiosity  natural  to  prisoners  in  such  circumstances  ;  and 
that  indeed  I  knew  nothing  whatever  about  the  facts  men- 
tioned in  the  indictment. 

I  was  on  the  point  of  mentioning  a  detail  in  the  arrange- 
ments at  the  Temple,  and  the  system  of  constant  vigilance 
that  obtained  there,  by  way  of  trying  to  prove  the  falsity  of 
Hebert's  infamous  accusation  against  the  Queen,  when 
Fouquier-Tinville,  the  public  prosecutor,  divining  my  inten- 
tion, interrupted  me  rudely  with  a  request  to  answer  Yes  or 
No  as  to  whether  I  had  had  any  understanding  with  the 
accused. 

My  answer  was  a  decided  negative,  which  I  accompanied 
with  a  gesture  to  the  same  effect.  The  royal  prisoner,  on 
being  questioned  in  her  turn,  answered  in  these  precise  words  : 
/  had  no  sort  of  understanding1  with  the  witness.  This  was 
the  end  of  my  evidence  in  the  Queen's  trial. 

In  the  report  of  the  trial  my  evidence  was  reduced  to  a  single 
sentence,  although  I  was  speaking  for  more  than  a  quarter  of 
an  hour.  Finally,  let  me  recall  the  parting  glance  with 
which  the  august  princess  honoured  me.  .  .  .  That  must 
always  be  my  most  cherished  reward !  At  that  moment  my 
dearest  hope  was  to  die  for  the  sacred  cause  to  which  I  had 
vowed  myself,  and  my  greatest  pride  was  that  I  had  earned 
the  happiness  of  doing  so.1 

That  same  evening  I  was  taken  back  to  the  Abbaye.  On 
the  following  day,  the  16th  October,  all  of  us  who  were  con- 
fined in  that  prison  heard  an  extraordinary  noise  going  on  all 
round,  and  this,  combined  with  the  sound  of  the  firing  of  guns, 

1  As  I  crossed  the  space  in  front  of  the  bench,  which  had  been  invaded 
by  a  large  number  of  spectators,  a  man,  who  was  standing  by  as  I  was 
being  led  out  of  the  court  by  two  gendarmes,  pressed  my  left  arm  and  said 
to  me:  "Bravo,  citoyenJ"  I  admit  that  I  was  grateful  for  this  sign 
that  my  behaviour  in  such  circumstances  had  made  a  good  impression  on 
those  who  were  able  to  appreciate  it. — (Note  by  Mottle.) 

236 


THE  RECOLLECTIONS  OF  MOELLE 

inspired  us  with  alarm — which  was  not  ill-founded — as  to 
what  was  going  forward  outside. 

Personally,  when  I  heard  the  report  of  guns,  I  attributed  it 
to  some  attempt  to  oppose  the  Queen's  execution,  while  the 
trampling  of  the  crowd  that  was  audible  round  the  prison- 
walls  I  took  to  mean  a  repetition  of  the  massacres  that  had 
taken  place  almost  exactly  a  year  before. 

I  vacillated  between  these  two  theories. 

Supposing  it  possible  that  this  noise  meant  a  successful 
attempt  in  the  direction  of  my  wishes  and  hopes,  it  was  a 
matter  for  self-congratulation  ;  but  if  the  other  theory  were 
the  correct  one  I  had  all  the  horrors  before  me  of  a  second 
storming  of  the  prisons. 

This  uncertainty  kept  me  in  a  state  alternating  between 
terror  and  hope  for  more  than  two  hours,  at  the  end  of  which 
time  the  turnkeys  came  to  tell  me  that  the  noises  we  had 
heard  round  the  Abbaye  were  due  to  the  efforts  of  the  mob 
to  secure  certain  Austrian  prisoners  who  were  being  brought 
to  this  prison  ;  and  that  the  guns  were  being  fired  to  celebrate 
a.Jete  in  honour  of  Marat.  At  that  very  moment  one  of  the 
most  august  and  touching  victims  of  that  dreadful  time  was 
being  wickedly  done  to  death. 


237 


THE    EXECUTION 

The  Narratives  of  the  Turnkey  Lariviere,  the  Officer  of 
Gendarmerie  de  Busne,  the  Gendarme  Leger,  the  Vicomte 
Charles  Desfosses,  and  de  Rouy,  author  of  Le  Magicien 
Republicain. 


NARRATIVE   OF  LOUIS   LARIVIERE J 

TURNKEY  IN  THE  CONCIERGERIE 

MY  father  and  mother,  after  having  been  for  thirty  years 
in  the  service  of  Monseigneur  le  Due  de  Penthievre,  Lord 
High  Admiral  of  France,  were  appointed  by  that  excellent 
prince  to  be  the  concierges  of  the  Admiralty  Court.2 

Our  powerful  patron,  knowing  that  I  was  anxious  to  learn 
the  art  of  confectionery  as  thoroughly  as  possible,  made 
interest  for  me  with  the  King's  steward,  and  thus  when  I 
was  but  fourteen  years  old  I  was  an  apprenticed  pastrycook 
in  the  King's  own  palace  of  Versailles. 

The  6th  October  was  an  unfortunate  day  for  me. 

The  royal  family  left  the  palace  for  ever ;  two-thirds  of 
the  household  were  discharged ;  and  I  went  off  to  Paris  to  the 
bosom  of  my  family. 

1  Louis  Lariviere  was  a  pastrycook  at  Saint-Mand6  in  1824,  when  he  told 
his    recollections   of  the  Queen's  last  hours  to  Lafont  d'Aussonne.     His 
short  story  may  be    easily  verified,  and  although  it  comes  to  us,   like 
Rosalie    Lamorliere's,   through  the    pen    of    the    Queen's    unscrupulous 
biographer,  we  believe  it  may  be  regarded  as  perfectly  reliable. 

2  There  is,  in  the  Almanack  Royal  for  1780  and  the  following  years,  a 
reference  that  confirms  this  statement.     The  Admiralty  Court  of  France, 
Marble  table.     Lariviere,  concierge  and  keeper  of  the  refreshment -room  in  the 
Law  Courts. 


NARRATIVE  OF  LOUIS  LARIVIERE 

My  father  also  lost  his  place  some  time  afterwards,  owing 
to  the  suppression  of  the  Admiralty  Court;  but  as  his 
quarters  were  neither  convenient  nor  pleasant,  it  did  not  occur 
to  anyone  to  deprive  him  of  them.  The  windows  of  these 
rooms,  which  were  barred  with  enormous  gratings,  were  on 
the  second  floor,  and  looked  out  over  the  great  Cour  du  Preau 
within  the  precincts  of  the  Conciergerie. 

One  day  when  Richard  the  gaoler  came  to  see  my  old 
father  he  saw  me  in  the  corner  of  the  room,  where  for 
want  of  something  to  do,  I  was  sitting  with  my  arms  crossed. 
"  What  do  you  mean  to  do,11  he  said  to  my  parent,  "  with 
this  great  lazybones,  who,  as  far  as  I  can  see,  is  strong  and 
well  ?  If  he  can  write,  and  I  don't  doubt  that  he  can,  you 
must  just  hand  him  over  to  me.  I  am  in  need  of  a  good 
trustworthy  turnkey.  I  will  be  a  good  master  to  him,  and 
the  arrangement  will  enable  you  to  see  him  often." 

We  were  very  willing  to  accept  Richard's  suggestion,  and 
I  forthwith  took  up  my  duties  in  that  vast  Conciergerie  that 
I  had  hitherto  only  seen  through  our  grated  windows. 

On  the  2nd  August,  1793,  I  was  on  duty  at  the  entrance, 
at  the  first  inner  door  of  the  Conciergerie,  and  although  I 
was  on  guard  I  was  asleep  in  a  big  leather  armchair.  Sud- 
denly I  heard  someone  knocking  on  the  door,  not  with  the 
hammer,  but  heavily  with  the  butt-end  of  a  musket.  I 
promptly  opened  the  iron  grating,  and  then  the  entrance- 
door,  and  saw  a  tall,  beautiful  woman,  who  was  being  brought 
in  by  several  officers  and  directors  of  the  prison.  The 
moment  the  full  light  of  the  hall  fell  upon  her  face  I  re- 
cognised her  as  my  former  revered  mistress,  the  widow  of  the 
King  of  France,  who  had  been  put  to  death.  She  was 
dressed  in  a  long  black  garment,  which  enhanced  the  extra- 
ordinary whiteness  of  her  skin.  At  that  moment  I  thought 
her  little  changed,  because  the  agitation  and  exertion  she 
had  just  been  through  had  revived  all  her  natural  colour. 

Those  who  had  brought  her  to  the  place  intended  at  first 
to  confine  her  in  the  registrar's  office,  which  opens  out  of  the 
entrance-hall ;  but  they  quickly  changed  their  minds,  and, 
turning  to  the  right  through  the  dark  passage,  they  showed 
Her  Majesty  to  her  room.  At  about  six  o'clock  in  the  morn- 

239 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

ing,  when  it  was  full  daylight,  the  gaoler  took  me  aside  and 
said :  "  Go  off  and  find  your  mother,  and  tell  her  I  have 
decided  to  have  her  as  the  Queen's  attendant  for  a  few  days. 
Your  mother's  health  is  good,  even  if  she  is  old.  The 
directors  have  accepted  her  for  the  post  on  my  description  of 
her.  I  hope  she  will  not  distress  me  by  refusing  it." 

I  conveyed  this  proposition  to  my  mother  without  delay. 
She  was  greatly  grieved  to  hear  that  the  Queen  of  France 
was  likely  to  be  tried  at  no  distant  date ;  but  on  every 
account  she  had  no  hesitation  in  going  down  to  the 
Conciergerie. 

As  she  was  admitted  to  the  Queen's  room  before  the  ar- 
rival of  the  two  gendarmes,  she  had  time  to  make  her 
personal  sentiments  plainly  understood ;  and  as  she  was  an 
intelligent  woman,  and  had  lived  among  the  great  ones  of 
the  earth  all  her  life,  she  was  able  to  express  herself  in  a  few 
tactful  words,  which  won  her  the  immediate  approval  and 
even  the  regard  of  the  Queen.  She  had  been  handsome  in 
her  youth,  and  in  her  old  age  she  was  neither  repellent  nor 
unpleasing.  She  always  told  us  that  Her  Majesty  had 
treated  her  much  better  than  she  had  any  right  to  expect. 

My  mother  told  the  Queen  that  I  had  been  in  her  own 
service,  and  that  now  I  was  reduced  to  accepting  employment 
in  the  prison. 

The  day  after  she  took  up  her  duties  my  mother  left  the 
Queen's  cell  for  a  moment,  and  commissioned  me  to  go  out 
and  buy  half  a  yard  of  voile  or  of  some  other  woollen 
material,  with  which  to  patch  Her  Majesty's  black  dress, 
which  was  torn  under  both  arms  and  frayed  round  the  hem 
by  the  constant  friction  of  stone  floors.  I  was  further 
ordered  to  buy  some  sewing-silk,  some  thread,  and  some 
needles,  and  to  return  quickly. 

When  I  entered  the  Queen's  cell  with  the  various  little 
articles  I  have  just  mentioned,  and  gave  them  to  my  good 
mother,  Her  Majesty  condescended  to  thank  me  with  a 
gracious  movement  of  her  head. 

After  four  or  five  days  the  directors  of  the  prison  told  my 
mother  that  this  post  was  too  arduous  for  her  age,  and 
replaced  her  by  a  young  woman  called  Harel,  who  in  the 

240 


NARRATIVE  OF  LOUIS  LARIVIERE 

course  of  the  following  month  denounced  Michonis,  and  the 
stranger  who  brought  in  the  carnation  with  the  hidden 
paper. 

Before  this  unlucky  affair  of  the  carnation  the  hardships  of 
the  Conciergerie  were  not  altogether  intolerable.  The  eight 
turnkeys  were  on  duty  for  seven  consecutive  days,  and  were 
free  on  the  eighth.  One  day  M.  Gilbert-des-Voisins,  Presi- 
dent of  the  Parkment.,  took  me  privately  into  a  corner  and 
spoke  as  follows  :  "  Lariviere,  you  seem  to  me  to  be  a  good 
fellow.  It  depends  on  yourself  to  make  your  fortune  and 
save  my  life.  I  cannot  explain  my  meaning  to  you  here,  but 
the  day  after  to-morrow  is  your  free  day,  and  my  valet  will 
go  and  see  you  at  your  own  home.  I  implore  you  to  listen  to 
the  suggestions  I  have  empowered  him  to  make  to  you." 

We  separated,  for  fear  of  being  observed,  and  two  days 
later  the  president's  valet  came  to  see  me  as  arranged,  in  a 
little  room  on  the  Quai  de  THorloge,  which  I  rented  for  the 
sake  of  liberty.  He  said  to  me :  "  Lariviere,  all  M.  Gilbert-des- 
Voisin's  immense  possessions  have  been  seized  and  sequestrated ; 
his  house  is  full  of  officials ;  his  enemies  have  sworn  that  he 
shall  die,  and  he  is  a  dead  man  if  you  do  not  help  him.  I 
was  fortunate  enough  to  save  from  the  wreck  a  sum  of 
eighteen  thousand  francs  in  gold,  which  I  have  put  in  a  safe 
place.  My  master  empowers  me  to  offer  it  to  you  (till  we 
can  do  better)  on  condition  that  you  help  him  to  escape  by 
the  dark  passage  to  the  chapel,  the  passage  that  leads  down 
to  the  little  spiral  staircase  and  ends  in  the  outer  court  of  the 
Sainte-Chapelle." 

I  answered  this  poor  young  man  that  all  the  treasures  of 
the  world  could  not  make  it  possible  to  carry  out  this  plan  of 
escape,  seeing  that  the  enormous  bolts  of  all  these  old  doors 
were  chained  to  make  them  immovable,  and  that  unless  the 
sentry  on  guard  outside  were  first  murdered  the  least  noise 
within  would  betray  what  was  going  on. 

A  few  days  after  this  the  affair  of  the  flower  took  place  in 
the  Queen's  cell.  On  the  very  same  day  Fouquier  heard  of  it, 
when  he  made  his  ordinary  visit  of  inspection  in  the  evening. 
On  the  following  day  all  permits  were  cancelled  ;  all  the 
turnkeys  and  other  persons  employed  about  the  place  were 

24,1  E 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

forbidden  to  leave  the  building  until  further  orders ;  Richard 
was  taken  off  to  prison  with  his  family,  and  replaced  by  the 
gaoler  from  La  Force,  whose  name  was  Bault. 

In  Richard's  time  I  was  sometimes  employed  in  the  kitchen, 
when  there  was  too  much  work  for  Rosalie  ;  and  feeling  that 
this  was  an  opportunity  of  being  useful  to  Her  Majesty  I 
liked  best  to  prepare  the  dishes  that  Rosalie  intended  for  her. 
One  day  I  was  cooking  some  peas  for  the  Queen  when  one  of 
the  directors  of  the  prison,  who  knew  what  I  was  doing,  came 
prying  round  the  range.  While  I  was  attending  to  something 
else  he  took  the  opportunity  of  presuming  to  lift  the  lid  of 
my  saucepan.  I  happened  to  see  it,  and  the  moment  his 
back  was  turned  I  took  the  peas  and  threw  them  into  the 
cinders,  for  I  feared  the  rascal  might  have  poisoned  them. 
Four  or  five  times  Madame  Richard  found  it  convenient  to 
send  me  to  the  Queen's  cell  instead  of  Rosalie,  who  no  doubt 
was  otherwise  employed.  I  carried  in  Her  Majesty's  meals 
on  these  occasions.  She  thanked  me  with  a  movement  of  her 
head,  without  speaking. 

While  my  mother  was  there  I  went  into  the  cell  one  day  in 
the  uniform  of  the  National  Guard,  for  I  was  not  exempted 
from  serving  in  that  body  by  my  new  employment.  Her 
Majesty  said  to  my  mother  :  "  Pray  ask  your  son,  our  former 
servant,  not  to  wear  that  uniform  again  in  my  presence, 
for  it  reminds  me  of  the  6th  October  and  all  the  misfortunes 
of  my  family." 

The  next  time  I  saw  my  mother  at  home  she  spoke  to  me 
briefly,  and  very  sadly,  on  this  subject ;  and  in  obedience  to 
Her  Majesty's  wishes  I  no  longer  wore  my  uniform  in  the 
prison. 

On  the  16th  October,  at  ten  o'clock  in  the  morning,  the 
gaoler  Bault  told  me  to  go  and  wait  for  him  in  the  Queen's 
cell,  and  to  take  away  any  cups  or  glasses  there  might  be  on 
the  table.  He  gave  me  this  order,  I  fancy,  so  that  I  might 
see  what  was  about  to  take  place,  and  that  having  seen  it,  I 
might  describe  it  to  him  afterwards  ;  which  is  exactly  what 
occurred. 

When  the  Queen  saw  me  come  into  her  cell  she  said  to  me 
sadly  :  "  Lariviere,  you  know  that  they  are  going  to  put  me 


NARRATIVE  OF  LOUIS  LARIVIERE 

to  death  ?    .  .  .     Tell  your  good  mother  that  I  thank  her 
for  her  care  of  me,  and  that  I  entreat  her  to  pray  for  me." 

I  had  hardly  entered  the  cell  (where  I  saw  a  new  officer  of 
gendarmerie),  before  the  judges  arrived  with  their  registrar 
Fabricius.  Her  Majesty,  who  was  on  her  knees  beside  her 
truckle-bed,  rose  to  receive  them.  The  president  said :  "  Pay 
attention  :  your  sentence  is  about  to  be  read  to  you  " ;  and 
they  all  four  uncovered  their  heads,  which  was  never  their 
custom  on  occasions  of  the  kind.  It  seemed  to  me  that  they 
were  almost  startled  by  the  Queen's  air  of  majesty  and 
goodness. 

"  It  is  needless  to  read  it,"  said  the  Queen  in  a  clear  voice. 
"  I  know  the  sentence  only  too  well."  u  No  matter,"  answered 
one  of  the  men ;  "  it  must  be  read  to  you  again."  Her 
Majesty  made  no  answer,  and  the  registrar  began  to  read. 

Just  as  he  had  finished  I  saw  the  chief  executioner,  Henri 
Sanson,1  come  into  the  room.  He  was  a  young  man  at  that 
time,  and  immensely  tall.  He  came  up  to  the  Queen  and 
said,  "  Hold  out  your  hands."  Her  Majesty  recoiled  a  step 
or  two,  and  answered  in  a  troubled  voice,  "  Are  my  hands  to 
be  bound  ?  Louis  XVI.'s  were  not  bound."  The  judges  said 
to  Sanson,  "  Do  your  duty." 

"  Oh,  my  God  ! "  cried  the  Queen  distractedly. 

As  she  spoke  Henri  roughly  seized  her  poor  hands  and 
bound  them  too  tightly  behind  her  back.  I  saw  the  Queen 
raise  her  eyes  to  heaven  with  a  sigh,  but  though  her  tears 
were  ready  to  flow  she  restrained  them. 

When  her  hands  were  bound  Sanson  removed  her  cap  and 
cut  off  her  hair. 

Her  Majesty  perhaps  thought  they  were  going  to  kill  her 
on  the  spot,  for  she  turned  round  with  a  look  of  deep  emotion, 
and  saw  the  executioner  taking  possession  of  her  hair  and 

1  The  chief  executioner  in  October,  1793,  was  Charles  Henri  Sanson,  who 
was  born  in  1739  and  was  therefore  no  longer  a  young  man.  His  son 
Henri  Sanson  succeeded  him  on  the  18th  Fructidor,  year  III.,  but  long 
before  this  had  been  in  the  habit  of  taking  his  father's  place  at  executions. 
It  has  been  alleged  that  Charles  Henri  died  of  grief  for  having  guillotined 
Louis  XVI.  !  It  is  hardly  necessary  to  say  that  this  is  legendary  ;  but  as 
a  matter  of  fact  he  never  performed  the  duties  of  his  office  after  Jan.  21st. 
His  son,  though  not  officially  appointed,  practically  replaced  him.  On 
the  whole  Lariviere's  statements  are  correct. 

243  R  % 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

putting  it  in  his  pocket  to  carry  away.     (It  was  burnt  in  the 
great  vestibule  after  the  execution.) 

This  is  what  I  saw  :  this  is  what  I  would  I  had  never  seen  : 
this  is  what  I  shall  never  forget  as  long  as  I  live. 

P.S. — I  must  not  omit  to  say  that  the  gendarme  Gilbert, 
and  Dufrene  too,  received  a  commission  after  the  Queen's 
death.  Gilbert,  in  spite  of  my  parents'  opposition,  won  the 
heart  of  my  sister  Julie,  and  married  her.  He  made  her  the 
unhappiest  woman  in  the  world,  for  he  was  the  most  depraved 
gendarme  that  ever  lived.  One  day  he  went  off  and  gambled 
away  all  the  funds  belonging  to  his  company,  and  then  blew 
his  brains  out  in  despair.1 

1  Here  Lariviere's  story  ceases.  Lafont  d'Aussonne  has  added  a  few 
lines  on  the  subject  of  Marie  Antoinette's  Communion,  but  we  will  not 
repeat  them,  having  already  warned  our  readers  of  that  historian's  par- 
ticular bias. 


244 


THE   NARRATIVE   OF   DE   BUSNE 

Louis  FRANCOIS  DE  BUSNE  entered  the  Dauphin's  regiment  in 
1757.  He  served  under  Louis  XV.,  Louis  XVI.,  and  Napoleon, 
and  at  the  time  of  the  Restoration  was  serving  in  the  Hotel  des 
Invalides  as  senior  adjutant.  He  had  then  seen  twenty-nine 
years  of  service  and  seven  campaigns.  He  was  a  Knight  of  the 
Legion  of  Honour.  (Archives  of  the  War  Office.) 

There  is  in  existence  a  letter  written  by  him  in  1816  to 
Madame  la  duchesse  d'Angoul£me,  in  which  he  makes  the  most 
of  his  considerate  behaviour  to  the  Queen.  "I  am,"  he  says, 
"  that  officer  whom  M.  de  Montjoie  in  his  immortal  Histoire  de 
Marie  Antoinette,  your  august  mother,  describes  as  being  de- 
nounced, arrested,  and  accused,  because  he  had  obeyed  the 
dictates  of  his  heart,  and  in  his  willingness  to  end  his  days 
under  the  knife  of  the  revolutionaries  had  done  his  duty  with 
respect  and  devotion."  He  then  demanded  the  Order  of  Saint 
Louis. 

It  is  true  that  de  Busne,  whose  name  Rosalie  Lamorli&re 
mentions  at  the  end  of  her  story,  was  Marie  Antoinette's  last 
"body-guard."  He  it  was  who,  as  officer  of  the  Gendarmerie  of 
the  Tribunals,  accompanied  her  to  the  court  where  she  was  tried, 
and  took  her  back  to  the  cell  where  she  was  to  await  the  hour 
of  her  martyrdom. 

On  this  occasion  he  was  guilty  of  an  unpardonable  crime. 
He  held  his  hat  in  his  hand  while  he  was  escorting  the  accused  : 
he  took  the  trouble  of  going  to  fetch  her  a  glass  of  water :  and 
finally  he  offered  her  his  arm  to  help  her  down  the  dark  stair- 
case of  the  prison.  In  the  evening  of  that  very  day  he  was  de- 
nounced ! 

If  we  reproduce  here  the  few  lines  he  wrote  in  his  own 
defence  it  is  not  nearly  so  much  for  the  sake  of  the  details  they 
record  as  to  show  how  great  must  have  been  the  terror  that  the 
Revolutionary  Tribunal  inspired  in  everyone,  since  an  officer  in 

245 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

the  army  humiliated  himself  so  far  as  to  apologise,  as  though  for 
serious  faults,  for  behaving  with  ordinary  consideration  towards  a 
woman  who  was  about  to  die. 

What  is  the  crime  of  which  I  am  accused  by  this  citizen l 
and  those  who  share  his  opinions  ?  Of  having  given  a  glass 
of  water  to  the  accused,  because  the  citizen  ushers  were  for 
the  moment  absent  on  the  service  of  the  Tribunal :  of  having 
held  my  hat  in  my  hand,  which  I  did  for  my  own  convenience 
because  the  weather  was  hot,  and  not  from  respect  for  a 
woman  who  was  condemned  to  death,  as  I  believe,  justly. 

That  excellent  citizen  the  public  prosecutor  had  given  us 
to  understand  that  there  was  an  officer  appointed  to  escort  the 
prisoner,  in  accordance  with  the  usual  practice  in  the  prison. 
As  the  Widow  Capet  was  walking  along  the  passage  on  her 
way  to  the  inner  staircase  of  the  Conciergerie,  she  said  to 
me :  "I  can  hardly  see  where  I  am  going."  I  offered  her  my 
right  arm,  and  with  its  help  she  descended  the  staircase. 
She  took  it  again  as  she  went  down  the  three  slippery  steps  of 
the  yard.  It  was  to  prevent  her  from  falling  that  I  behaved 
in  this  way,  and  no  sensible  man  could  detect  any  other 
motive  in  my  action ;  for  if  she  had  fallen  on  the  stairs  there 
would  have  been  an  outcry  about  conspiracy,  and  treason, 
and  the  undoubted  complicity  of  the  gendarmerie.  How  is 
it  possible  to  distort  my  motives  ?  The  laws  of  nature,  my 
mission,  and  the  laws  of  the  most  formidable  of  States,  all 
taught  me  that  it  was  my  duty  to  keep  her  safe  for  the 
accomplishment  of  her  sentence. 

Signed:  DE  BUSNE. 

Lieutenant  of  gendarmerie  quartered 
at  the  Courts  of  Law,  and  Member  of 
the  popular  Society  of  French  Guards. 

1  Jourdeuil,  gendarme  of  the  Tribunals,  who  had  denounced  de  Busne. 


246 


NARRATIVE  OF  THE  GENDARME 
LEGER1 

(Extracts  from  the  Recollections  of  Moelle,  Member  of  the  Commune) 

I  HAVE  discovered,  in  connection  with  the  Queen's  last 
moments  in  prison,  some  details  that  have  hitherto  been 
unknown,  or  have,  at  all  events,  been  unpublished  until 
now. 

A  gendarme  called  Leger,  formerly  a  grenadier  in  the 
French  Guards,  whom  I  noticed  among  those  who  were 
guarding  the  Queen  while  I  was  giving  my  evidence  at  the 
trial,  and  who,  when  I  saw  him  again,  was  keeping  a  little 
eating-house  behind  the  Military  School,  told  me  that  he  and 
another  gendarme  had  been  appointed  to  guard  the  royal 
victim  after  the  sentence  had  been  pronounced. 

According  to  Leger  the  Queen  did  not  return  to  the  room 
she  had  hitherto  occupied  in  the  Conciergerie.  She  was 
taken  to  a  room  that  was  built  up  in  a  corner  of  the 
registrar's  outer  office  and  was  generally  occupied  by  such 
of  the  condemned  prisoners  as  could  not  be  executed  till  the 
day  after  they  were  sentenced.  It  was  here  that  the  Queen 
spent  her  last  night. 

1  M.  Campardon  accepted  this  evidence,  and  in  a  matter  of  this  kind 
the  opinion  of  that  eminent  historian  is  of  great  weight.  If,  however, 
we  are  to  believe  that  Marie  Antoinette  did  not  return  to  her  ordinary 
cell  on  the  16th  October,  we  must  reject  Rosalie's  story  as  well  as  that  of 
Mme.  Bault.  We  may  remark  in  passing  that  Moelle's  evidence  must  be 
received  cautiously  in  this  matter,  since  he  makes  a  mistake  himself.  "  It 
was  here,"  he  says,  "that  the  Queen  spent  her  last  night."  The  night 
was  spent  in  the  Tribunal :  it  was  past  four  o'clock  in  the  morning  when 
the  sentence  was  pronounced. 

247 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

According  to  this  same  man  Leger  the  Queen  asked  for 
some  food,  and  a  chicken  was  put  before  her,  of  which  she 
ate  a  wing.  Before  going  to  bed  she  also  asked  if  she  might 

change  her  chemise The  gaoler's  wife  procured  a  clean 

one  for  her. 

The  Queen,  according  to  this  authority,  slept  fairly  well, 
and  rose  at  about  five  o'clock  in  the  morning.1  Then  she 
asked  to  have  some  chocolate  brought  to  her,  and  it  was 
procured  from  the  cafe  near  the  entrance  of  the  Conciergerie. 
They  only  brought  her  what  is  called  a  mignonette^  which 
Leger  thought  such  an  insufficient  quantity  that  he  abstained 
from  tasting  it — the  usual  test  of  all  the  food  eaten  by  the 
royal  victim. 

When  she  rose  she  put  on  the  white  dress  that  she  was  seen 
wearing  on  the  scaffold.  When  the  time  came  for  her  final 
ordeal  she  was  led  from  the  room  where  she  had  passed  the 
night  into  the  registrar's  office,  between  two  rows  of  gen- 
darmes reaching  from  the  door  of  the  room  to  that  of  the 
office.  In  the  office  her  hair  was  cut  off — the  hair  that  was 
blanched  by  so  many  sorrows.  It  was  in  a  deplorable  state 
of  disorder 

The  Queen  only  left  this  fatal  building  to  enter  the  cart, 
which  awaited  her  at  the  door  of  the  Conciergerie,  and 
conveyed  her  to  the  spot  where  her  troubles  ceased  for  ever. 

1  As  we  have  already  said,  the  Queen  did  not  leave  the  Tribunal  until 
shortly  before  five  in  the  morning. 


248 


THE  NARRATIVE  OF  DESESSARTS1 

AT  five  o'clock  the  assembly  was  sounded  in  all  the  Sections 
of  Paris  ;  at  seven  all  the  troops  were  afoot,  and  guns  were 
mounted  at  the  ends  of  every  bridge,  in  all  the  squares,  and 
at  every  junction  of  roads  that  lay  between  the  Law  Courts 
and  the  Place  de  la  Revolution  ;  at  ten  o'clock  numbers  of 
patrols  scoured  the  streets  of  Paris ;  the  traffic  was  stopped 
in  the  streets  through  which  Marie  Antoinette  was  to  pass ; 
at  eleven  o'clock  she  came  out  of  the  Conciergerie,  dressed  in 
a  loose  garment  of  white  pique.  She  entered  the  executioner's 
cart,  where  a  constitutional  priest  sat  at  her  side ;  and  she 
was  escorted  by  numerous  detachments  of  gendarmerie,  some 
on  foot,  some  mounted. 

Marie  Antoinette,  as  she  passed  by,  looked  indifferently  at 
the  troops  that  lined  the  streets  through  which  she  had  to 
drive.  There  was  no  sign  of  dejection  on  her  face,  nor  yet  of 
pride  ;  she  looked  quite  calm,  and  seemed  hardly  to  notice 
the  cries  of  Vive  la  Republique !  Down  with  tyranny !  that 
rose  as  she  went  by.  It  was  observed  that  she  said  very 
little  to  the  confessor,  and  that  she  looked  with  indifferent 
eyes  at  the  people  who  were  at  the  windows.  She  seemed  to 
notice  the  tricoloured  pennants  in  the  Rue  Saint-Honore  ; 
and  she  was  observed  to  glance  at  the  inscriptions  fixed  upon 
the  house-fronts.  At  twelve  o'clock,  when  she  reached  the 
Place  de  la  Revolution,  she  turned  her  eyes  towards  the 
Garden  of  the  Tuileries,  and  at  that  moment  she  changed 
colour  and  grew  much  paler  than  before.  She  then  ascended 
the  scaffold,  and  the  knife  fell. 

1  Published  in  the  year  VII.  in  Les  Proc&s  fameux  jugds    depuis    la 
Evolution,  Vol.  IV.,  p.  176. 

249 


THE  NARRATIVE   OF   THE 
VICOMTE   CHARLES   DESFOSSES1 

THE  gate  opened  and  the  victim  appeared,  pale,  but  every 
inch  a  Queen.  Behind  her  came  Sanson,  the  executioner, 
holding  the  ends  of  a  thick  cord,  which  held  back  the  elbows 
of  the  Royal  prisoner.  She  walked  the  necessary  yard  or 
two  to  reach  the  step  of  the  cart,  which  had  been  sup- 
plemented by  a  little  ladder  of  four  or  five  rungs.  The 
executioner,  who  guided  the  Queen's  footsteps,  was  followed 
by  an  assistant.  Sanson  supported  the  victim  with  his  hand. 
The  Queen — it  was  indeed  the  Queen  ! — turned  round  gravely 
to  climb  over  the  seat  and  sit  down  facing  the  horses,  but  the 
two  executioners  indicated  that  she  was  to  take  the  opposite 
place.  Meanwhile  the  priest  climbed  into  the  cart.  These 
arrangements  took  some  time. 

One  circumstance  that  struck  me  was  that  the  executioner 
was  obviously  careful  to  allow  the  cords  he  was  holding  to 
hang  loosely  and  freely.  He  stood  behind  the  Queen,  sup- 
porting himself  against  the  boards  of  the  cart ;  his  assistant 
was  at  the  back ;  they  both  stood  and  held  their  three- 
cornered  hats  in  their  hands.  The  cart,  when  it  had  left  the 
court,  passed  slowly  along  through  an  enormous  crowd  of 
people,  who  thronged  the  streets  through  which  it  went,  but 
neither  shouted,  nor  muttered,  nor  insulted  the  prisoner.  It 
was  only  at  the  entrance  to  the  Rue  Saint-Honore,  after  a 
long  drive,  that  any  disturbance  arose.  The  priest  said  little 
or  nothing. 

1  Quoted  by  M.  H.  Wallon,  in  his  Histoire  du  Tribunal  Rdvolutioniiaire 
de  Paris,  Vol.  I,  p.  349. 

250 


THE  QUEEN   ON  HER  WAY  TO  THE  SCAFFOLD. 

Sketched  from  nature  by   David,  from   a  window  in  the  Rue  Saint-Honore, 

October  16,  1793. 


251 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

I  had  time  to  observe  the  details  of  the  Queen's  appearance 
and  of  her  dress.  She  wore  a  white  skirt  with  a  black 
petticoat  under  it,  a  kind  of  white  dressing-jacket,  some 
narrow  silk  ribbon  tied  at  the  wrists,  a  plain  white  muslin 
fichu,  and  a  cap  with  a  bit  of  black  ribbon  on  it.  Her  hair 
was  quite  white  and  was  cut  short  round  her  cap  ;  her  face  was 
pale,  but  there  was  a  touch  of  red  upon  the  cheek-bones  ; 
her  eyes  were  bloodshot  and  the  lashes  motionless  and  stiff. 
The  Queen  did  not  utter  a  word  to  the  priest  till  they  were 
opposite  to  the  entrance  to  the  Jacobin  Club,  which  was  then 
a  passage.  On  the  arch  that  surmounted  the  gate  of  this 
passage  a  large  placard  had  been  fixed,  bearing  this  inscrip- 
tion :  Manufactory  of  republican  arms  for  the  destruction  of 
tyrants.  I  thought  the  Queen  must  have  had  some  difficulty 
in  reading  it,  for  she  suddenly  turned  to  the  priest  and  seemed 
to  be  asking  him  something,  whereupon,  for  a  moment,  he 
held  up  a  little  ivory  crucifix  upon  which  his  eyes  had  been 
fastened  the  whole  time.  At  the  same  instant  Grammont,1 
who  had  been  escorting  the  cart  from  the  first,  raised  his 
sword,  brandished  it  about  in  every  direction,  and,  standing 
up  in  his  stirrups,  shouted  in  a  loud  voice  some  words  that 
I  could  not  catch  ;  then  turned  towards  the  fatal  cart  with  an 
oath :  "  There  she  is,"  he  cried ;  "  there  is  the  infamous,  the 
accursed  Antoinette,  my  friends ! "  A  few  drunken  shouts 
arose  in  response,  and  then  one  of  my  friends  made  a  sign  to 
me  as  we  had  arranged,  and  I  slipped  into  the  crowd.  We 
were  forced  to  give  up  all  hope  of  saving  the  Queen. 

1  Grammont  had  once  been  an  actor.  He  took  part  in  the  massacre  of 
the  prisoners  from  Orleans,  at  Versailles,  and  boasted  of  having  drunk 
from  the  skull  of  one  of  his  victims.  Campardon,  Le  Tribunal  rdvolution- 
naire  de  Paris,  Vol.  I.,  p.  149. 


THE   NARRATIVE   OF   ROUY1 

Author  of  Le  Magicien  Republicain 

THE  trial  was  brought  to  a  close  on  the  23rd,  or,  according 
to  the  old  reckoning,  on  Wednesday,  the  16th,  at  half-past 
four  in  the  morning,  by  the  reading  of  the  sentence  of  the 
Tribunal,  which  condemned  the  prisoner  to  the  penalty  of 
death.  She  listened  to  it  with  great  composure,  and  came 
down  into  the  court  with  a  step  as  light  as  when  she  entered 
the  boudoirs  of  Saint-Cloud  and  Trianon  to  indulge  in  her 
voluptuous  pleasures,  and  to  make  that  great  lout,  her 
husband  Capet,  a  bigger  fool  than  he  was  already.  She  then 
gave  a  gold  ring,  and  a  packet  containing  some  of  her  hair, 
to  one  of  her  counsel,2  to  give  to  a  woman  called  Hiary, 
who  lived  at  Livry  with  Citoyenne  Laborde,  and  whom  she 
declared  to  be  her  friend.  Then  she  asked  for  a  confessor  to 
assist  her  at  the  last;  and  as,  like  any  other  criminal,  she 
was  afraid  of  being  seen,  she  begged  for  a  carriage  to  convey 
her  to  the  scaffold,  or  a  veil  to  cover  her  head.  But  as  this 
sort  of  favouritism  would  have  been  an  offence  to  the 
principle  of  equality  she  was  refused  these  things,  on  the 
ground  that  she  was  required  to  suffer  the  utmost  rigour  of 
the  law. 

At  twelve  or  fifteen  minutes  past  eleven  she  came  out  of 
the  prison  of  the  Conciergerie,  and  climbed  into  the  same 
cart  that  was  used  when  any  other  condemned  prisoner  was 
to  be  taken  off  to  the  scaffold.  She  was  dressed  in  a  white 

1  Quoted  by  Dauban. 

2  This  is  false.     Tron^on-Ducoudray  and  Chauveau-Lagarde  had  been 
arrested,  as  we  have  seen,  before  the  sentence  was  even  pronounced. 

253 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

morning-wrapper,  and  on  her  head  was  a  very  common  cap. 
Her  hair  was  cut  short,  and  her  hands  were  tied  behind  her 
back.  Her  face  was  pale  and  very  languid,  but  this  was  due 
to  her  bad  state  of  health  in  the  prison  more  than  to  the 
approach  of  the  just  penalty  that  she  was  about  to  suffer ; 
for  though  she  looked  rather  downcast  as  she  got  into  the 
cart  she  never  lost  the  proud,  haughty  expression  and  bearing 
that  were  so  characteristic  of  her.  Throughout  the  journey 
from  the  Law  Courts  to  the  foot  of  the  scaffold  she  was 
calmly  looking  about  her  at  the  vast  crowd,  who  filled  the 
air  with  cries  of  Vive  la  Republique !  When  she  reached  the 
Place  de  la  Revolution  she  looked  earnestly,  with  some 
emotion,  at  the  palace  of  the  Tuileries.  Her  confessor,  who 
sat  beside  her,  spoke  to  her,  but  she  seemed  not  to  be  listen- 
ing to  him,  nor  even  to  be  conscious  that  he  was  speaking. 
The  cart  drew  up  before  the  scaffold,  and  she  alighted  easily 
and  promptly,  without  requiring  any  support,  though  her 
hands  were  still  tied.  In  the  same  way  she  ascended  the 
scaffold  with  an  air  of  bravado  :  she  seemed  calmer  and  more 
undisturbed  even  than  when  she  left  the  prison.  Without 
saying  a  word  to  the  people  or  the  executioners  she  submitted 
to  the  final  preparations,  shaking  her  cap  from  her  head 
herself.  Her  execution  and  the  horrible  prelude  lasted  for 
about  four  minutes.  At  a  quarter-past  twelve  precisely  her 
head  fell  under  the  iron  avenger  of  the  law,  and  the  execu- 
tioner showed  it  to  the  people  amid  repeated  shouts  of  Vive 
la  Republique !  Vive  la  liberte  ! 

While  the  executioners  were  untying  the  cords  that  bound 
her  body  to  the  plank  so  that  they  might  put  her  remains 
into  the  basket  that  was  waiting  to  receive  them,  one  of  the 
men  searched  her  pocket,  and  drew  from  it  a  little  box,  which 
he  instantly  opened.  He  took  out  of  it  the  portraits  of 
her  favourite  Lafayette  and  of  her  husband,  and  showed 
them  to  the  people,  who  shouted  louder  than  ever :  Vive  la 
Republique ! l 

1  This  last  detail  appears  to  be  absolute  invention.  Apart  from  the 
fact  that  Lafayette  is  well  known  to  have  been,  for  many  reasons,  anything 
but  a  favourite  with  the  Queen,  we  have  already  seen  that  the  latter  had 
been  deprived  of  all  her  trinkets  while  she  was  in  the  Coneiergerie. 

254 


MARIE   ANTOINETTE'S   WILL 


WHEN  Marie  Antoinette,  at  half-past  four  in  the  morning,  left 
the  Tribunal  where  she  had  just  been  condemned  to  death,  she\ 
wrote  to  Madame  Elizabeth  the  letter  that  has  so  often  been 
printed  under  the  title  of  The  Queen's  Will.  This  writing  is  , 
sublime  in  its  heartrending  simplicity,  but  is  so  well  known  tha£ 
it  is  unnecessary  to  give  the  entire  text  of  it  here.  We  wijl 
merely  observe  that  Madame  Elizabeth  never  received  this  letter. 
No  one  even  took  the  trouble  to  inform  her  of  the  Queen's  death. 
When,  on  the  20th  Floreal,  year  II.,  the  Princess  in  her  turn  was 
brought  from  the  Temple  to  the  Conciergerie,  she  inquired 
eagerly  after  the  Queen, — whom  she  called  "  her  sister," — and 
asked  Richard  if  it  were  long  since  he  had  seen  her.  He 
answered  :  "  She  is  very  well,  and  wants  for  nothing." 

Throughout  the  night  Madame  Elizabeth  appeared  uneasy. 
She  perpetually  asked  Richard  to  tell  her  the  time  ;  for  he  was 
sleeping  in  a  dark  room  adjoining  the  recess  where  she  herself 
was  lying  down.  She  rose  early:  Richard  had  already  risen. 
She  again  asked  the  time,  and  Richard  took  out  his  watch  to  show 
her  the  hour,  and  made  it  strike.  "  My  sister,"  she  said,  "  had 
one  rather  like  it ;  but  she  never  wound  it  up."  She  took  nothing 
but  a  little  chocolate  :  then,  at  eleven  o'clock,  she  went  out  to 
the  entrance  of  the  prison.  A  number  of  grandes  dames,  who 
were  going  to  the  scaffold  with  her,1  had  already  gathered  at  the 
door.  Among  them  was  Madame  de  Senozan,  the  sister  of  the 
minister  Malesherbes  who  defended  the  King,  and  the  best  and 
most  charitable  of  women.  Madame  Elizabeth  begged  Richard 
to  remember  her  to  her  sister.  Then  one  of  the  ladies  spoke. 

1  In  addition  to  Mme.  de  Senozan  the  batch  included  five  members  of 
the  family  of  Lomenie  de  Brienne,  the  widowed  Mme.  de  Montmorin  and 
her  son,  etc. 

255 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

"  Madame,"  she  said,  "  your  sister  has  suffered  the  fate  that  we 
are  about  to  suffer  ourselves."  l 

The  Queen's  last  letter,  then,  was  cruelly  intercepted.  Bault  the 
gaoler,  to  whom  the  condemned  woman  entrusted  it,  gave  the 
paper  to  Fouquier-Tinville,  who  wrote  his  signature  on  it  and  kept 
it  for  some  time. 

After  the  ninth  Thermidor  the  commission  charged  with 
examining  Robespierre's  papers  appointed  Edme  Bonaventure 
Courtois,  deputy  of  the  Aube  and  manufacturer  of  sabots  at  Arcis, 
to  draw  up  a  report  on  the  subject.  Courtois,  who  had  remained 
almost  unknown  through  the  Terror,  quickly  achieved,  thanks  to 
this  inquiry  that  had  been  entrusted  to  him,  a  certain  amount  of 
fame.  The  energy  he  brought  to  bear  on  his  mission  is  well 
known,  for  an  enormous  number  of  copies  were  printed  of  his 
report,  which  filled  two  volumes ;  but  what  Courtois  was  very 
careful  to  keep  to  himself  was  that  one  day,  when  he  was  alone 
in  the  house  of  the  carpenter  Duplay,  where  Robespierre  lived, 
he  made  a  very  minute  search  in  Maximilien's  room,  and  found,  in 
a  secret  recess  very  skilfully  contrived  underneath  the  bed  of  the 
Incorruptible,  various  valuable  books  and  papers,  not  to  mention  a 
picture,  all  of  which  were  connected  with  the  royal  family.2 

No  doubt  this  fact  may  be  denied,  for  we  have  no  evidence  on 
the  subject  but  that  of  Courtois'  son ;  but  it  is  incontestable, 
apparently,  that  Robespierre  was  guilty  of  a  much  more  serious 
fault  than  the  pilfering  of  a  picture  and  a  few  interesting  books. 
He  had  appropriated  the  letter  in  which  the  Queen,  in  the  hour 
I  /  of  her  death,  bade  farewell  to  her  children.  In  every  country 
and  in  every  age  the  last  wishes  of  the  dying  have  been  con- 
/  sidered  sacred ;  but  this  sentiment  was  unknown  to  the  heartless 
man  who  personified  the  cold  ethics  of  the  Revolution.  The 
Queen's  letter  was  actually  found  in  his  room  by  Courtois  : 
Robespierre  had  begged  it  of  Fouquier-Tinville,  who  was  able 
to  refuse  him  nothing.  What  use  did  he  mean  to  make  of  it  ? 

1  Souvenir  de  Vlntemonce  a  Paris  pendant  la  Revolution. 

2  "  Robespierre  was  an  unscrupulous  collector.     The  conventionist,  who 
was  apparently  interested  in  literature  and  art,  took  possession  of  books 
and  pictures  as  it  suited  him,  and  in  his  desire  to  conceal  how  he  obtained 
them,  hid  them  between  his  mattresses  !  !  !     Yes,  it  was  actually  between 
his  mattresses  that  the  bibliophile  Robespierre  hid  various  classics  bear- 
ing the  arms  of  the  royal  family,  such  as  the  Letters  of  Cicero,  the  Works 
of  Seneca,  etc. ,  of  which  the  conventionist  must  undoubtedly  have  taken 
possession  in  the  Temple,  after  Louis  XVI. 's  death." 

Paul  Eudel,  Uh6tel  Drouot  et  la  curiositt.  The  picture  and  the  books 
in  question  were  shown  at  the  historical  exhibition  at  Orleans  in  1876. 

256 


MARIE   ANTOINETTE'S   WILL 

Why  !  the  same  use  that  Courtois  meant  to  make  of  it  when, 
understanding  instantly  the  value  of  his  discovery,  he  folded  up 
the  paper  that  was  still  stained  with  the  Queen's  tears,  put  it  in 
his  pocket,  and  without  saying  a  word  to  anyone  took  off  to  his 
own  house  the  only  legacy  that  the  poor  woman  had  bequeathed 
to  her  children.  The  years  passed  by.  Courtois,  having  become 
a  member  of  the  Committee  of  General  Security,  afterwards 
joined  the  Council  of  Ancients,  and  made  himself  conspicuous 
by  his  counter-revolutionary  ardour.  He  pursued  the  Jacobins 
with  special  harshness,  suspecting  them  always  of  conspiracy. 
The  coup  d'Etat  of  the  18th  Brumaire  had  no  warmer  partisan:  he 
was  elected  a  tribune,  but  at  the  time  of  the  first  "  elimination  " 
an  accusation  of  embezzlement  obliged  him  to  part  from  his 
colleagues.  Having  assumed  the  name  of  Degon  he  entered 
into  a  partnership  with  an  army  contractor,  and  took  advantage 
of  his  position  as  a  member  of  the  Committee  of  General 
Security  to  intimidate  his  partner  into  giving  him  profits  to 
which  he  had  no  right.  On  the  first  occasion  he  extorted  a 
hundred  and  twenty  thousand  francs  from  him ;  then  twelve 
thousand  more ;  and  finally,  having  ruined  him,  he  bought  his 
bills  of  credit  and  from  the  remnant  of  the  poor  man's  fortune 
made  a  fortune  for  himself,  which  was  no  doubt  exaggerated  by 
his  enemies,  but  was  certainly  not  acquired  by  selling  sabots  at 
Arcis-sur-Aube.1 

Courtois,  being  rejected  by  the  parliamentary  Assemblies, 
gave  up  politics.  That  pursuit,  indeed,  had  already  given  him 
every  advantage  he  could  expect  to  gain  from  it.  Preferring 
not  to  return  to  his  own  country,  where  his  character  was  known, 
he  bought  a  kind  of  chateau  at  Rambluzin,  in  the  department  of 
the  Meuse,  where  he  settled  down  comfortably  and  became  the 
seigneur  of  the  village.  Those  to  whom  his  doors  were  opened 
noticed  a  good  deal  of  magnificent  furniture  in  his  house — the 
direct  descendants,  it  would  appear,  of  the  furniture  of  the 
ancient  royal  palaces ;  but  after  the  Revolution,  when  so  many 
people  had  fished  in  troubled  waters,  very  little  attention  was 
paid  to  unedifying  surprises  of  this  kind.  In  any  case  Courtois 

1  Eugene  Wei  vert,  La  saisie  des  papier  s  du  conventionnel  Courtois. 
Archives  historiques,  artistiques,  et  litteraires,  1890.  We  cannot  do  better 
than  refer  our  readers,  for  the  whole  of  this  Courtois  affair,  to  the 
remarkable  and  accurate  study  in  which  M.  Eugene  Welvert  supports  his 
statements  by  so  many  authorities.  We  have  taken  this  work  as  our  sole 
guide  ;  but  our  short  abstract  is  quite  insufficient  to  give  all  the  aspects  of 
this  interesting  story,  which  should  be  read  in  the  original  version. 

257  s 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

lived  peaceably  at  Rambluzin  until  January,  1816,  when  the 
Chamber  of  Deputies  passed  the  so-called  law  of  Amnesty,  of 
which  Article  7  condemned  to  perpetual  banishment  from  the 
kingdom  the  regicide  conventionists  who  had  adhered  to  the 
Acte  Additionnel.  Courtois  was  of  their  number.  But  he  was 
sixty-two  years  old,  his  health  was  not  very  good,  and  he  was 
moreover  very  comfortable  on  his  estate  at  Rambluzin.  Then  it 
was  that  he  remembered  having  carefully  secreted  a  certain 
talisman  in  a  safe  place,  lest  some  crisis  of  this  kind  should 
occur.  The  Queen's  Will  should  win  a  pardon  for  him  :  and  he 
promptly  addressed  to  M.  Becquey,  Councillor  of  State,  a  letter 
that  was  intended  to  open  negotiations. 

RAMBLUZIN,  %5th  Jan.  1816. 
MONSIEUR, 

My  absolute  faith  in  your  humanity  and  loyal  principles 
prompts  me  to  address  you  directly,  rather  than  anyone  else, 
with  a  view  to  entrusting  you  with  a  secret  of  the  first 
importance,  of  which  you  will  not,  I  am  sure,  make  any 
unworthy  use. 

During  the  time,  Monsieur,  that  I  was  a  member  of  the 
Commission"  charged  with  examining  the  papers  of  Robes- 
pierre and  other  conspirators,  I  thought  it  my  duty  to 
abstract  from  the  portfolio  that  contained  them  certain  docu- 
ments of  the  greatest  interest  to  the  royal  family,  documents 
that  may  be  regarded  as  real  historical  records.  It  is  most 
fortunate  that  they  were  saved  from  the  destruction  that 
certainly  awaited  them,  so  greatly  was  their  publication 
feared  !  I  append  to  my  letter  a  list  of  the  original  papers  and 
other  articles. 

Being  uncertain  whether  I  shall  still  be  in  France  when 
your  answer  reaches  my  house  I  have  placed  this  little  collec- 
tion of  treasures  in  the  hands  of  a  person  of  known  integrity, 
who  will  only  give  it  up  in  obedience  to  a  direct  order  from 
myself. 

No  one  but  my  wife  is  in  the  secret,  and  the  friend  who  has 
charge  of  the  packet  does  not  even  know  what  it  contains ; 
he  thinks  there  is  nothing  in  it  but  some  family  papers  that 
he  will  be  expected  to  make  public  after  I  have  gone  away. 

I  should  also  tell  you  that  Madame  the   late  Duchesse 

258 


MARIE  ANTOINETTE'S   WILL 

de  Choiseul,  to  whom  I  was  fortunate  enough  to  render 
important  services  during  the  Revolution,  and  from  whom  I 
have  in  my  possession  some  cherished  letters  relating  to 
myself,  was  the  only  person  who  knew  of  the  existence  of 
these  papers.  Even  she,  however,  did  not  know  of  the  first 
and  most  important,  for  she  would  certainly  have  asked  me 
for  a  copv  of  that,  and  I  should  not  have  known  how  to 
refuse  her.  But  my  wife  went  so  far  as  to  present  her  with  a 
very  small  lock  of  the  Queen's  hair,  and  a  little  piece  of 
plaited  braid  that  she  begged  for  very  earnestly. 

I  intended  last  year  to  have  these  sacred  objects  conveyed 
to  His  Majesty  ;  but  unfortunately  I  could  not  recall  where 
I  had  put  them,  my  many  changes  of  residence  having  con- 
fused my  memory  in  this  respect.  It  was  only  a  month  ago, 
more  or  less,  that  I  found  them  again,  and  firmly  determined 
to  have  them  conveyed  to  the  destination  that  is  really  theirs 
by  right. 

The  first  document,  and  the  most  important  of  all,  begins 
with  these  words  :  It  is  to  you,  sister  (Madame  Elizabeth  no 
doubt),  that  I  write  my  last  letter ;  I  have  just  been  sentenced, 
not  to  a  shameful  death,  for  it  is  only  shameful  to  criminals, 
but  to  go  and  join  your  brother ;  and  being,  like  him,  innocent, 
I  hope  to  shozv  the  same  firmness  that  he  showed  in  those  last 
moments,  etc.  It  ends  with  these  words  :  My  good,  loving 
sister,  I  trust  this  letter  may  reach  you !  Think  of  me  always : 
I  embrace  you  with  my  whole  heart,  and  those  poor  dear 
children  too.  Mon  Dieu,  how  heart-breaking  it  is  to  leave 
them  for  ever !  Farewell,  farewell !  I  shall  think  of  nothing 
now  but  my  spiritual  duties.  As  I  am  not  a  free  agent  they 
may  perhaps  bring  me  a  priest,  but  I  here  protest  that  I  shall  not 
say  a  word  to  him  and  shall  treat  him  as  an  absolute  stranger. 

This  letter  contains  two  rather  closely- written  pages  of 
ordinary  paper  of  about  quarto  size.  It  may  be  regarded  as  a 
kind  of  last  will  and  testament,  corresponding  to  the  will  of 
his  late  Majesty  Louis  XVI.  The  writing  is  in  some  places 
blurred  with  tears,  which  shows  how  deeply  this  august 
Princess  was  moved  while  writing  this  masterpiece  of  pro- 
found feeling,  which  I  shall  always  congratulate  myself  on 
having  saved.  This  letter  is  not  signed ;  but  it  is  impossible 

259  s  2 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

to  doubt  its  authenticity  when  one  compares  it  with  others 
that  are.  Moreover,  its  genuineness  is  proved  by  the  fact 
that  the  signature  of  A.  G.  Fouquier-Tinville  is  written  at 
the  bottom  of  it,  together  with  those  of  the  members  of  the 
Commission  :  Legot,  Guffroy,  Massieu,  and  L.  Le  Cointre. 

Second  letter. — This  seems  to  be  addressed  to  Madame  la 
Duchesse  d'Angouleme,  and  contains  only  six  lines  as  follows  : 
"  /  want  to  write  to  you,  my  dear  child,  to  tell  you  that  I  am 
well ;  I  am  calm,  and  should  be  quite  at  peace  if  I  knew  that 
my  poor  child  were  free  from  anxiety.  I  embrace  you,  and 
your  aunt  too,  with  all  my  heart.  Send  me  some  silk 
stockings,  a  dimity  jacket,  an  underskirt,  and  the  stocking  I  am 
knitting."  This  letter  is  unsigned.  The  signatures  of  the 
commissioners  are  at  the  bottom  of  it. 

The  third  letter  is  addressed  to  the  President  of  the 
Convention,  and  asks  that  the  trial  may  be  delayed  for  three 
days,  in  order  that  the  counsel  for  the  defence,  Tronson  and 
Chauveau,  may  have  time  to  prepare  their  case,  for,  says  the 
Queen,  /  owe  it  to  my  children  to  neglect  nothing  that  is 
necessary  for  the  justification  of  their  mother.  This  letter  is 
signed  Marie  Antoinette,  and  the  same  signatures  follow  that 
were  mentioned  above. 

Fourth  letter. — From  a  young  lawyer  called  Marie 
Antoine  Martin,  Maison  Saint-Pierre,  585  Rue  des  Cordiers, 
asking  Fouquier-Tinville  to  propose  him  to  the  Queen  as  her 
official  counsel. 

Fifth  letter. — Anonymous  ;  filled  with  threats  expressed 
in  a  very  unpleasant  tone,  and  addressed  to  Fouquier. 

Sixth  packet. — The  Examination  of  the  Queen,  after  her 
return  from  Varennes,  by  the  three  commissioners  of  the  Con- 
stituent Assembly  :  Tronchet,  d1  And  re,  and  Adrien  Duport. 

Seventh  packet. — A  kid  glove  that  belonged  to  Mon- 
seigneur  the  Dauphin. 

Eighth  packet. — A  little  piece  of  the  Queen's  hair,  about 
as  thick  as  one's  finger,  wrapped  in  a  quarter  of  a  sheet  of 
the  Temps  newspaper. 

Ninth  packet. — A  parcel  of  thread,  netting,  etc.,  materials 
for  work,  no  doubt,  by  the  help  of  which  the  august  prisoner 
beguiled  the  weary  hours  of  her  captivity. 

260 


MARIE    ANTOINETTE'S   WILL 

Tenth  packet. — A  little  letter  as  follows,  addressed  to  the 
Queen  and  professing  to  be  signed  by  Danton  :  "  Citoyenne, 
put  these  words  om  your  door :  Unity,  indivisibility  of  the 
Republic,  liberty,  equality,  fraternity,  or  death."  Signed 
Danton,  and  also  signed  like  the  others. 

This,  Monsieur,  is  all  that  I  was  fortunate  enough  to 
secure.  You,  if  anyone,  will  understand  their  value. 

You  may  rest  assured  that  no  copy  has  ever  been  made  of 
these  documents,  of  which  no  one  knew  but  the  members  of 
the  Commission,  who  never  learnt  what  had  become  of  them. 

And  the  regicide  ended  by  beggingv,his  August  Sovereign  to  grant 
him,  if  riot  a  complete  pardon  in  exchange  for  these  relics  of  the 
Queen,  at  least  a  respite  of  fifteen  or  eighteen  months.  By  thus 
delaying  his  exile  he  hoped  to  succeed  in  being  forgotten. 

The  minister's  answer  to  these  advances  is  very  pleasing :  "  If 
these  letters  can  be  had  for  money,  money  will  be  given  for  them  : 
as  for  the  individual,  the  measure  applies  to  everyone,  and  no 
exception  can  be  made." 

But  before  this  contemptuous  refusal  reached  him  Courtois  had 
been  bereft  of  his  talisman.  The  Prefect  of  the  Meuse,  having  been 
informed  that  some  of  Courtois'  furniture  seemed  originally  to  have 
been  Crown  property,  despatched  a  Justice  of  the  Peace  and 
several  gendarmes  to  his  house,  to  make  sure  that  he  did  not  take 
abroad  with  him  anything  valuable  belonging  to  the  State.  They 
took  the  opportunity  of  inspecting  his  papers,  and  discovered  the 
portfolio  containing  the  Queen's  letter  and  the  various  relics  of 
the  prisoners  of  the  Temple,  enumerated  by  Courtois.  The  whole 
of  his  little  scheme  fell  to  the  ground.  He  was  not  in  the  least 
discouraged,  however,  and  tried  to  assume  an  air  of  virtuous 
dignity.  Two  days  later  he  addressed  to  M.  de  Maussion,  the 
Prefect  of  the  Meuse,  a  long  letter  from  which  we  will  only  quote 
the  first  lines,  since  they  will  show  us  all  we  need  to  know  of  the 
ex-conventionist's  ignoble  mind.1 

M.  le  Prefet,  I  cannot  help  congratulating  myself  on  the 
fact  that  the  letters  of  the  august  Marie  Antoinette  have 
fallen  into  hands  so  honourable  as  yours,  and  will  be  presented 
to  His  Majesty  without  delay. 

1  The  letter  is  given  in  full  in  M.  Eugene  Welvert's  study. 

261 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

My  reason,  M.  le  Prefet,  for  not  confiding  in  you  first  of 
all,  was  that  my  wife  had  insisted  on  my  sending  the  letters 
to  M.  Becquey,  Councillor  of  State,  whom  she  knew  personally. 

On  the  very  day  of  her  death l  I  wrote  to  that  gentleman 
with  regard  to  the  articles  in  my  possession,  and  that  I  took 
this  step  proves,  at  all  events,  that  I  made  a  free  and 
independent  offer  to  the  Government  to  hand  over  these 
important  papers  to  them. 

Perhaps  you  would  like  to  know  how  these  precious  objects 
fell  into  my  hands.  I  will  do  myself  the  honour  of  telling 
you. 

After  Robespierre's  death  two  Commissions  were  success- 
ively appointed  to  examine  his  papers  and  those  of  his 
accomplices.  As,  owing  to  party  spirit,  the  first  did  not  win 
the  confidence  of  the  Assembly,  they  appointed  a  second,  of 
which  I  was  a  member.  It  was  in  the  course  of  drawing  up 
a  report  of  this  inquiry — a  duty  that  devolved  upon  me  and 
occupied  me  for  five  whole  months,  M.  le  Prefet — that  I 
became  possessed  of  these  precious  relics,  which  had  originally 
been  in  the  hands  of  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal,2  as  is  proved 
by  the  signatures  of  Fouquier,  procureur  of  that  infamous 
court,  and  of  the  four  representatives  of  Versailles,  Legot, 
Massieu,  Guffroy,  and  L.  Le  Cointre. 

The  times  were  not  then  sufficiently  propitious  for  these 
things  to  be  put  to  any  use  ;  and  such  was  the  vertigo,  so  to 
speak,  from  which  certain  heads  were  then  suffering,  that 
these  historical  records,  which  posterity  will  place  in  the 
very  first  rank,  were  on  the  point  of  being  destroyed.  To 
save  them  from  the  flames  that  threatened  them  I  secretly 
took  possession  of  them,  and  kept  them  hidden  with  the 
greatest  care. 

Madame  la  grande-duchesse  (sic)  de  Choiseul,  who  honoured 
me  with  her  regard  and  whose  life  I  more  than  once  saved, 

1  Mine.  Courtois  died  on  the  25th  Jan. 

2  This  confession  on  the  part  of  Courtois  seems  to  put  it  beyond  a  doubt 
that  it  was  among  Robespierre's  papers  that  the  Queen's  letter  was  found. 
M.  Campardon  expresses  a  different  opinion.     As  for  M.  E.  Welvert,  he 
takes  up  no  definite  position  in  the  matter,  but  ' '  leaves  to  others  the 
business  of  discussing  whether  it  were  Robespierre  or  Courtois  who  was 
the  thief,  or  the  receiver  of  these  stolen  goods." 

262 


MARIE  ANTOINETTE'S   WILL 

was  the  only  person  who  knew  of  the  little  packet  of  hair, 
from  which  my  wife  removed  a  very  small  piece  as  an  offering 
to  her.  She  kept  this  invaluable  treasure,  as  she  called  it,  all 
her  life,  and  begged  us  to  add  to  it  a  bit  of  braid  plaited  by 
the  hands  of  the  late  Queen. 

We  were  very  careful  not  to  speak  to  her  of  that  touching 
letter,  that  veritable  masterpiece  of  feeling,  written  at  half- 
past  four  in  the  morning  of  the  very  day  that  brave  and 
charming  woman  lost  her  life  upon  a  scaffold  that  one  can 
hardly  picture  in  connection  with  her  !  Otherwise  it  would 
have  been  impossible  to  avoid  giving  her  (the  Duchesse  de 
Choiseul)  a  copy  of  it.  No  one  in  the  world,  M.  le  Prefet, 
except  the  members  of  the  Commission,  was  aware  that  such 
valuable  relics  of  the  late  Queen  were  in  existence  ;  and  thus, 
when  they  reach  the  hands  of  the  august  Sovereign  who 
rules  over  us,  they  will  be,  as  it  were,  still  unsullied. 

And  so,  after  all  these  vicissitudes,,  at  the  end  of  twenty-two 
years,,  after  lying  in  the  portfolios  of  the  Tribunal  and  the  mat- 
tress of  Robespierre  and  the  library  of  Courtois,  the  Queen's  last 
letter  reached — not  its  destination,  for  the  woman  for  whom  it 
was  written  had  long  been  dead — but  at  least  the  hands  of  Marie 
Antoinette's  daughter,  who  fainted  away,  it  is  said,  when  she 
received  this  paper,  yellow  with  age  and  still  blotted  with  her 
mother's  last  tears.  The  King  issued  an  order  that  on  the  l6th 
October  of  each  year  it  should  be  read  aloud  in  the  pulpit  of 
every  church  in  France.1  Millions  of  facsimiles  of  it  were 
printed.  As  for  the  original,  it  was  deposited  among  the  State 
Archives,  where  it  lies  in  a  special  case  beside  the  will  of 
Louis  XVI. 

1  Under  the  Restoration  the  fa£ade  of  the  Temple  was  draped  with 
black  on  the  21st  of  January,  and  the  top  storey  was  surmounted  by  a 
cenotaph  decorated  with  the  arms  of  France  and  surrounded  by  lighted 
tapers.  Upon  a  black  book  were  written  the  words:  "Son  of  Saint 
Louis,  ascend  to  Heaven." — La  Quotidienne  for  the  year  1821. 


263 


THE  CEMETERY  OF  THE  MADELEINE 

IF  the  historians  of  Marie  Antoinette  are  to  be  believed  it  was 
not  until  a  fortnight  after  the  Queen's  death  that  her  remains 
were  buried.1 

What  became  of  her  body  during  these  fifteen  days  ?  No 
doubt  it  was  thrown  down  upon  the  grass  in  some  corner  of  the 
Cemetery  of  the  Madeleine,  to  await  further  orders  that  never 
came ;  and  so  it  was  forgotten.  At  last  the  grave-digger  Joly 
took  it  upon  himself  to  dig  a  hole,  to  place  in  it  the  remains  of 
the  victim,  and  to  submit  this  bill  for  funeral  expenses  to  the 
authorities  for  their  approval — 

The  Widow  Capet,  for  the  coffin  6  livres. 

For  the  grave  and  grave-diggers  15-35.2 

And  this  is  the  only  document  we  have  relating  to  the  Queen's 
burial. 

The  first  question  we  have  to  ask  is  this  :  where  was  the 
Cemetery  of  the  Madeleine  ? 

Louis  Lazare,  a  Parisian  journalist,  has  made  an  attempt  to 
elucidate  the  mystery.  According  to  him  3  the  cemetery  "  ad- 
joined the  old  parish  church  of  the  Madeleine,  and  was  entered 
from  the  Rue  de  la  Ville  1'Eveque."  This  is  obviously  a  mis- 
take ;  for  it  is  a  well-known  fact  that  the  Expiatory  Chapel  was 
built  on  the  very  site  of  the  trench,  and  that  the  altar  of  the 
crypt  stands  on  the  precise  spot  where  the  bones  of  the  King 
and  Queen  were  discovered  in  1815.  Now  this  spot,  as  we  all 
know,  is  a  long  way  from  the  Rue  de  la  Ville  1'Eveque. 

1  The  llth  Brumaire,  year  II.,  or  Nov.  1st,  1793.    See  Histoire  de  Marie- 
Antoinette,  by  Maxime  de  la  Rocheterie. 

2  Memorandum  in  the  possession  of  M.  Fosse  d'Arcosse,  quoted  by  K 
and  J.  de  Goncourt,  Histoire  de  Marie- Antoinette. 

3  Bibliotheque  municipale. 

264 


A.  Actual  position  of  the  crypt  of  the  Expiatory  Chapel,  on  the  precise 
spot  where  the  bodies  of    Louis   XVI.    and   Marie  Antoinette  were 
buried. 

B.  The  spot,   according  to  Desclozeaux,   where  Charlotte  Corday  was 
buried. 

C.  Grave   of  the  133  victims  of   the   accident  that  took  place   on   the 
6th  June,  1770,  in  the  Place  Louis  XV. 

D.  Grave  of  the  Due  d' Orleans,  according  to  Desclozeaux. 

E.  Grave  of  the  four  priests  and 
500  Swiss   killed    on   the   10th 
August,     according      to    Des- 
clozeaux. 

F.  Common    trench     where 
condemned  were  buried 
until     the    middle    of 
December,  1793. 

G.  Grave    of   500    Swiss 
Guards    killed   on   the 
10th  August,  ac- 
cording   to    Des- 
clozeaux. 


THE   CEMETERY    OF  THE   MADELEINE. 

Bird's-eye  view,  based  011  original  documents. 
Drawn  by  M.  Joseph  Beuzon. 

265 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

We  pursued  quite  a  different  method.  We  spread  out  before 
us  Verniquet's  great  plan,  showing  the  topography  of  Paris  at 
the  time  of  the  Revolution :  we  then  sketched  from  it  an  outline 
of  the  whole  neighbourhood,  with  the  old  church  of  the 
Madeleine,  the  Benedictine  Convent,  and  the  huge  gardens  that 
stretched  as  far  as  the  Rue  de  la  Pepiniere  and  were  bisected  by 
the  street  called,  from  the  bridge  under  which  it  passed,  the 
Rue  de  1' Arcade.  We  then  called  in  the  help  of  a  map  of 
modern  Paris,  and  placing  the  latter  on  Verniquet's  plan  found 
the  exact  spot  that  was  covered  by  the  Expiatory  Chapel :  and 
in  this  way  we  acquired  the  absolute  certainty  that  the  Cemetery 
of  the  Madeleine,  in  1 793,  was  a  piece  of  ground  of  a  somewhat 
irregular  shape,  enclosed  by  a  wall,  opening  into  the  Rue  d'Anjou, 
and  forming  the  northern  boundary  of  the  immense  gardens  of 
the  nuns  of  La  Ville  1'Eveque.1 

One  fact  which  proves  beyond  a  doubt  that  the  enclosure  of 
the  cemetery  had  no  connection  with  the  Convent  gardens  is  that 
the  first  burials  in  this  place  were  those  of  the  hundred  and 
thirty-three  victims  of  the  accident  that  occurred  on  the  6th 
June,  1770,  in  the  Place  Louis  XV,  on  the  occasion  of  the  fetes 
given  in  honour  of  the  Dauphin's  marriage.  At  that  time  the 
property  of  religious  communities  was  respected,  and  a  trench 
would  not  have  been  dug  in  the  middle  of  a  garden  belonging  to 
one  of  the  richest  convents  in  Paris.  Moreover,  at  the  time  of 
the  Restoration  a  plan  was  published  of  the  cemetery,  which  had 
then  become  M.  Desclozeaux'  garden  ;  and  although  the  general 
arrangement  had  slightly  changed  since  M.  Verniquet  depicted  it 
in  1792,  one  can  nevertheless  recognise  the  shape  of  the  plot  of 
ground  and  the  close  proximity  of  the  Rue  d'Anjou,  so  that 
there  is  no  doubt  whatever  as  to  the  situation  of  the  enclosure. 
Finally,,  M.  Desclozeaux,  whom  we  have  just  mentioned,  was 
living  in  1815  at  No.  48  Rue  d'Anjou,  and  Jacoubet's  plan  (1835) 
places  No.  48  exactly  on  the  extension  of  the  Rue  des  Mathurins 
— which  was  cut  short  then,  as  in  1792,  by  the  Rue  de  1' Arcade 
— that  is  to  say,  quite  close  to  the  plot  of  ground  under 
consideration. 

Dull  as  this  demonstration  may  be  it  is  not  without  importance, 
for  such  chroniclers  as  have  had  occasion  to  speak  of  the 
Cemetery  of  the  Madeleine  have  prudently  abstained,  for  want 
of  accurate  documentary  evidence,  from  making  any  definite 

1  See  the  rough  plan  on  page  265. 

266 


THE  CEMETERY  OF  THE  MADELEINE 

statement.  The  common  trenches  of  the  Terror  fell  so  quickly 
and  so  thoroughly  into  oblivion  that,  when  Kotzebue  was 
travelling  in  France  during  the  period  of  the  Consulate,,  he  could 
find  no  one  to  show  him  the  resting-place  of  Louis  XVI.  and 
Marie  Antoinette. 

In  the  meantime  they  had  been  followed  to  the  little  enclosure 
we  have  just  described  by  many  a  victim  of  the  scaffold  in  the 
Place  de  la  Revolution;  for  the  guillotine  never  rested,  and 
nearly  every  day  the  cart  brought  to  the  Rue  d'Anjou  one  or 
more  baskets  full  of  headless  corpses.  The  doors  opened,  the 
cart  drove  into  the  enclosure,  and  there,  hidden  by  the  walls, 
the  grave-diggers  carried  on  their  horrible  work,  which  was  not 
so  much  seen  as  imagined  by  the  people  of  the  neighbourhood. 
But  indeed  this  quarter  of  the  town  was  very  sparsely  populated 
till  the  early  years  of  the  new  century. 

As  soon  as  the  Terror  was  over  the  owner  of  the  house 
adjoining  the  cemetery,  Pierre  Louis  Olivier  Desclozeaux, 
formerly  a  lawyer,  acquired  possession  of  the  burial-ground. 
He  restored  and  raised  the  walls,  corrected  the  irregularities 
of  the  enclosure,  closed  up  the  door  into  the  Rue  d'Anjou,  and 
made  a  new  one  into  his  private  garden,  which  had  once  formed 
part  of  the  grounds  belonging  to  the  nuns  of  the  Ville  1'Eveque. 
Then,  aided  by  tradition  alone,  for  there  were  no  authoritative 
documents,  he  assigned  graves  in  certain  spots  to  the  famous 
dead  who  were  buried  there,  and  marked  the  places  with  shrubs 
and  trees  and  crosses.  On  the  spot  where  he  believed  the 
remains  of  the  King  and  Queen  to  have  been  laid  he  planted 
two  weeping-willows  and  a  hedge  of  hornbeam. 

At  the  time  of  the  Bourbons'  return  he  intimated  to  Louis 
XVIII.  that  he  was  prepared  to  place  his  piece  of  ground  at  the 
disposal  of  the  royal  family ;  and  he  himself  gave  the  King  the 
names  of  those  who  might  be  able  to  furnish  accurate  informa- 
tion with  regard  to  the  graves.  The  result  of  this  was  the 
investigation  of  which  we  shall  presently  read  the  official  account. 

M.  Desclozeaux,  however,  allowed  his  enthusiasm  to  run  away 
with  him.1  In  a  pamphlet  entitled  A  List  of  Persons  sentenced 

1  M.  Desclozeaux  is  buried  in  the  Cemetery  of  Pere-Lachaise.  The 
following  lines  are  on  his  tombstone. 

De  la  cendre  des  rois  pieux  dtpositaire, 
Le  del  daigna  benir  ses  soins  religieux , 
II  a  revu  Louis  au  tr6ne  hdrdditaire 
Et,  comme  Simeon,  il  a  fermd  les  yeux. 

267 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

to  Death  by  the  Revolutionary  Tribunal  between  August  2,6th,  1792, 
and  June  1 3th,  1 794,  and  buried  in  the  Plot  of  Ground  formerly  the 
Cemetery  of  the  Madeleine,  he  gives  a  record  that  includes  one 
thousand  three  hundred  and  forty-six  names,  and  extends,  as  the 
title  indicates,  to  the  1 3th  June,  1 794.  This  is  a  mistake  ;  for  we 
can  only  accept  this  date  as  correct  by  altogether  ignoring  the 
existence  of  the  Cemetery  of  Les  Errancis  in  the  Pare  Monceau, 
where  the  victims  of  the  guillotine  were  buried  between  the 
25th  March  and  13th  June  1794.  But  this  mistake  on  M. 
Desclozeaux'  part  can  be  easily  explained.  The  bodies  of  the 
dead  were  ostensibly  taken  to  the  Cemetery  of  the  Madeleine, 
and  it  was  only  several  days  after  their  execution  that  they  were 
transferred  by  night  to  the  Cemetery  of  Monceau.  M.  Des- 
clozeaux must  have  noted  their  going  in,  without  taking  their 
coming  out  into  consideration,  and  this  was  why  he  credited  his 
cemetery  with  containing  the  remains  of  everyone  who  was 
executed  in  the  Place  de  la  Revolution. 

I  think  that  on  this  particular  point  we  may  have  perfect 
confidence  in  Michelet,  though  as  a  rule  he  is  careless  in  his 
choice  of  authorities,  and  indeed  rarely  quotes  the  sources  of  his 
information  at  all.  But  his  chapter  on  the  cemeteries  of  the 
Terror  was  founded  on  a  work  of  considerable  importance,  which 
was  undertaken  especially  on  his  account  by  M.  Hardy,  an  official 
in  the  muniment-room  of  the  Prefecture  of  Police. 

Briefly,  the  Cemetery  of  the  Madeleine  was  used  for  burials 
till  the  24th  March,  1794.  Hebert  and  Clootz  were  the  last 
victims  of  the  guillotine  to  be  interred  there. 

These  details  will  not  be  found  useless  in  assisting  the  reader 
to  form  an  opinion,  in  full  knowledge  of  the  facts,  with  regard 
to  the  following  collection  of  original  documents. 


268 


THE  EXHUMATION  OF  THE  REMAINS 
OF  KING  LOUIS  XVI.  AND  QUEEN 
MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

Legal  Statement  by  the  High  Chancellor  of  France,  concerning 
all  the  circumstances  preceding,  accompanying,  and  following 
the  burial  of  King  Louis  XVI.  and  Queen  Marie  Antoinette. 

ON  the  12th  May,  1814,  before  us,  Henri  <f  Ambray, 
Chancellor  of  France,  personally  charged  by  His  Majesty  to 
make  a  written  statement  of  all  the  circumstances  that  pre- 
ceded, accompanied,  and  followed  the  burial  of  King  Louis 
XVI.  and  Queen  Marie  Antoinette. 

Appeared  the  witnesses  hereinafter  named,  whom  I 
summoned  in  accordance  with  the  information  given  me  by 
His  Majesty  himself,  who  furnished  me  with  their  names. 

1st.  The  Sieur  Sylvain  Renard,  formerly  senior  curate  of 
the  Madeleine,  residing  at  No.  12  Rue  Caumartin,  who,  after 
taking  the  oath  to  speak  the  truth,  deposed  independently  of 
the  report  he  sent  to  me  on  the  10th  inst.,  as  follows  : 

"  On  the  20th  January,  1793,  the  Executive  Authorities 
commanded  M.  Picavez,  cure  of  the  parish  of  the  Madeleine, 
to  carry  out  their  orders  with  regard  to  the  funeral  of  His 
Majesty  Louis  XVI. 

"  M.  Picavez,  feeling  that  he  had  not  the  courage  to  fill  so 
painful  and  distressing  an  office,  professed  to  be  ill,  and  de- 
puted me,  as  his  senior  curate,  to  replace  him,  and  to  be 
careful  on  my  own  responsibility  that  the  orders  issued  by 
the  Executive  Power  were  strictly  carried  out.  My  first 
answer  was  a  positive  refusal,  based  on  the  ground  that 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

perhaps  no  one  had  loved  Louis  XVI.  more  than  I ;  but  on 
M.  Picavez  very  justly  pointing  out  to  me  that  this  double 
refusal  might  have  disagreeable  and,  indeed,  incalculable 
results  for  both  of  us,  I  accepted  this  painful  mission. 

"  Consequently,  on  the  following  day,  the  21st,  after  having 
assured  myself  on  the  evening  before  that  the  orders  issued  by 
the  Executive  Power  had  been  faithfully  carried  out  with 
regard  to  the  quantity  of  quicklime  and  the  depth  of  the 
trench — which,  as  far  as  I  can  remember,  was  to  be  ten  feet — 
I  waited  at  the  door  of  the  church,1  accompanied  by  the  cross 
and  by  the  late  M.  FAbbe  Damoreau,  junior  curate,  for  the 
body  of  His  Majesty  to  be  brought  to  us.  In  answer  to  my 
questions,  the  commissioners  of  the  department  and  of  the 
Commune  told  me  that  the  orders  they  had  received  did  not 
permit  them  to  lose  sight  for  a  single  moment  of  the  remains 
of  Louis  Capet.  The  body,  therefore,  did  not  enter  the 
church. 

"  We  were  obliged,  then,  M.  Damoreau  and  I,  to  follow 
them,  and  accompany  them  to  the  cemetery  in  the  Rue 
d' Anj  ou-Saint-Honore. 

"  For  the  short  distance  we  had  to  walk  we  were  escorted 
by  a  tumultuous  horde  of  people,  a  regiment  of  dragoons, 
and  some  unmounted  gendarmes,  whose  band  played  Repub- 
lican airs. 

"  When  we  reached  the  cemetery  the  body  was  handed 
over  to  us,  and  I  insisted  on  absolute  silence.  His  Majesty 
was  dressed  in  a  waistcoat  of  white  pique,  with  breeches  of 
grey  silk,  and  stockings  to  match.  His  face  was  not  dis- 
coloured, his  features  were  unaltered,  and  his  open  eyes 
seemed  to  be  still  reproaching  his  judges  for  the  unspeakable 
crime  of  which  they  had  just  been  guilty. 

"  We  then  recited  the  prayers  ordinarily  used  for  the 
burial  of  the  dead,  and  I  can  truthfully  say  that  this  huge 
crowd,  which  a  moment  before  had  been  rending  the  air  with 
its  wild  clamour,  listened  to  the  prayers  for  the  repose  of  His 
Majesty's  soul  in  a  most  religious  silence. 


The  allusion  is  to  the  old  Church  of  the  Madeleine,  which  was  pulled 
ra  at 
Rue  de 


down  at  the  beginning  of  the  century  and  was  situated  at  the  corner  of  the 
la  Ville  1'Eveque  and  the  Rue  de  1' Arcade. 


270 


EXHUMATION  OF  KING  AND  QUEEN 

"  Before  the  King's  body  was  lowered  into  the  grave,  where 
it  lay  uncovered  in  the  coffin  with  the  head  between  the  legs, 
a  bed  of  quicklime  was  thrown  into  the  trench,  which  was  ten 
feet  away  from  the  wall  in  accordance  with  the  orders  of  the 
Executive  Power.  The  body  was  then  covered  with  another 
bed  of  quicklime  and  then  with  a  bed  of  earth,  and  these,  as  / 
they  were  placed  one  on  top  of  the  other,  were  vigorously 
beaten  down  several  times. 

"  After  this  very  painful  ceremony  we  silently  withdrew, 
and  as  far  as  I  can  remember  a  formal  report  of  the  affair 
was  drawn  up  by  the  Juge  de  Paix,  and  signed  by  two 
members  of  the  department  and  two  of  the  Commune. 
When  I  returned  to  the  church  I  also  made  out  a  burial 
certificate,  but  only  in  an  ordinary  register,  which  was  taken 
away  by  the  members  of  the  Revolutionary  Committee  at  the 
time  of  the  closing  of  the  churches. 

"  I  certify  on  my  word  of  honour  that  this  declaration  that 
I  have  been  requested  to  make  contains  nothing  but  the 
most  accurate  truth,  and  I  am  prepared,  if  necessary,  to 
repeat  it  under  oath. 

"  In  witness  whereof  I  have  signed  it  in  Paris  on  the  10th 
May,  1814. 

RENAED. 

Senior  Curate  of  the  Madeleine, 
42  Rue  Caumartin." 

2ndly.  The  Sieur  Antoine  Lamaignere,  Juge  de  Paix  of 
the  1st  Ward  of  Paris,  residing  at  No.  8  Rue  de  la  Concorde, 
after  taking  the  oath  to  speak  the  truth,  told  us  that  he  was 
not  present  at  the  King's  burial,  but  arrived  on  the  spot  at 
the  moment  when  His  Majesty's  body  had  just  been  covered 
with  a  thick  bed  of  quicklime,  and  that  the  place  which  is 
now  surrounded  with  hornbeam  trees,  in  the  garden  of  the 
Sieur  Desclozeaux,  is  the  spot  where  the  King  was  buried, 
and  signed  after  reading  the  above. 

LAMAIGNERE. 

3rdly.  The  Sieur  Richard  Eve-Vaudremont,  registrar  of 
the  Juge  de  Paix  of  the  1st  Ward,  whom  he  accompanied  on 

271 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

the  occasion  of  his  visit  to  the  Cemetery  of  the  Madeleine  at 
the  moment  when  the  King's  body  was  being  covered  with 
quicklime,  is  in  a  position  to  attest,  as  he  does  hereby  attest, 
that  His  Majesty's  body  had  been  laid  in  the  spot  that  is  now 
marked  by  two  weeping- willows,  in  the  garden  of  Desclozeaux  ; 
and  after  reading  the  above,  signed  in  our  presence. 

EVE-VAUDREMONT. 

4thly.  The  Sieur  Emmanuel  Daujou,  formerly  a  lawyer, 
residing  at  No.  48  Rue  d'Anjou,  who,  after  taking  the  oath  to 
speak  the  truth,  told  us  that  he  too  had  witnessed  the 
burial  of  King  Louis  XVI.  and  Queen  Marie  Antoinette  ; 
that  he  saw  them  lowered  into  their  graves  in  open  coffins ; 
that  they  were  covered  with  lime  and  earth,  well  beaten 
down  ;  that  the  two  heads  were  placed  between  the  legs  of 
the  two  royal  victims ;  that  he  could  not  possibly  forget  a 
place  that  had  become  so  precious  and  that  he  regarded  as 
sacred;  that  he  remembered  his  father-in-law,  M.  Desclo- 
zeaux, buying  the  Cemetery  of  the  Madeleine,  the  walls  of 
hich  were  in  a  state  of  disrepair ;  that  he  had  them  restored 
and  heightened  for  the  sake  of  greater  safety  ;  that  owing  to 
his  care  the  piece  of  ground  in  which  lay  the  bodies  of  their 
Majesties  was  surrounded  by  hornbeam  trees ;  that  he  also 
planted  some  shrubs  and  two  weeping-willows;  and  signed 
after  reading  the  above. 

Signed:  DAUJOU. 

5thly.  Alexandre,  Baron  de  Baye,  Brigadier-General  in  the 
King's  army,  who,  after  taking  the  oath  to  speak  the  truth, 
told  us  that  he  saw  the  covered  tumbril  pass  by  on  its  way  to 
the  Cemetery  of  the  Rue  d'Anjou  with  the  mortal  remains  of 
King  Louis  XVI. ;  that  he  had  not  had  the  courage  to  follow 
the  funeral  procession,  but  knew  through  eye-witnesses  that 
the  body  of  His  Majesty  had  been  buried  at  the  spot  that 
had  subsequently  been  adorned  and  cared  for  by  Desclozeaux  ; 
that  he  knew  Desclozeaux  had  even  consistently  refused  to 
sell  this  piece  of  land,  or  even  exchange  it  for  a  mansion  in 
Paris  ;  and  after  reading  the  above,  signed. 

BAEON  DE  BAYE. 


EXHUMATION  OF  KING  AND  QUEEN 

Executed  and  sealed  in  Paris,  at  the  Chancellerie,  May 
22nd,  1814. 

Signed :  D'AMBRAY,  Grand  Chancellor. 

Certified  correct  by  us,  assistant-secretary  in  the  office  of 
the  Lord  High  Chancellor,  and  member  of  the  Legion  of 
Honour.  LE  PicARD.1 

On  the  18th  May,  1814,  we,  the  undersigned,  Lord  High 
Chancellor  of  France,  proceeded  at  nine  o'clock  in  the  morn- 
ing to  the  residence  of  the  Sieur  Desclozeaux,  No.  48  Rue 
d'Anjou,  accompanied  by  M.  le  Comte  de  Blacas.  We  found 
the  said  Desclozeaux  at  home,  and  with  him  his  son-in-law 
the  Sieur  Daujou  ;  and  they  took  us  into  the  old  Cemetery 
of  the  Madeleine.  They  pointed  out  to  us  the  spot  where  the 
body  of  His  Majesty  Louis  XVI.  had  been  buried,  and  a  few 
steps  beyond  it  the  place  where  the  body  of  Her  Majesty  the 
Queen  had  been  laid  nine  months  later. 

The  same  place  was  identified  by  the  Sieur  Renard,  formerly 
senior  curate  of  the  parish  of  the  Madeleine,  who  had  been 
present  at  the  King's  funeral,  and  had  been  summoned  by  us 
in  order  that  he  might  point  out  the  spot  where  His  Majesty's 
body  had  been  laid. 

This  spot,  and  that  in  which  Her  Majesty  the  Queen  had 
been  buried,  were  according  to  these  witnesses  identical  with 
the  places  previously  indicated  to  us  in  the  depositions  on 
oath  received  by  us  on  the  12th  May,  1814.  The  burial- 
places  of  the  King  and  Queen  are  marked  by  an  enclosure, 
near  which  are  planted  two  weeping- willows  and  some  shrubs. 

We  carefully  marked  out  upon  the  ground  the  places  in 
question,  which  were  only  a  short  distance  from  each  other ; 
and  as  a  record  of  what  we  had  done  we  drew  up  and  signed 
this  document. 

Executed  in  Paris  at  the  Office  of  the  Lord  High  Chan- 
cellor on  the  above  date  at  mid-day. 

DESCLOZEAUX,  DAUJOU,  RENARD,  the  Marquis  D'AMBRAY, 
Lord  High  Chancellor  of  France.2 

1  Archives  de  Vancienne  chambre  des  pairs.     Documents  quoted  by  the 
Abb6  Savornin,  chaplain  of  the  Expiatory  Chapel. 

2  Among  the  Archives  of  the  Crown.     Document  quoted  by  the  Abbe 
Savornin. 

273  T 


4 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

On  the  18th  January,  1815,  we,  the  undersigned  Henri 
d'Ambray,  Chancellor  of  France,  Commander  of  the  Orders 
of  the  King,1  accompanied  by  M.  le  Comte  de  Blacas, 
Secretary  of  State  ;  M.  le  Bailly  de  Crussol,  Peer  of  France ; 
Mon  seigneur  de  la  Fare,  Bishop  of  Nancy,  Head  Chaplain  to 
Her  Royal  Highness  the  Duchesse  d'Angouleme  ;  and  finally 
Dr.  Distel,  Surgeon  to  His  Majesty, — commissioners 
appointed  with  us  by  the  King  to  search  for  the  precious 
remains  of  Their  Majesties  Louis  XVI.  and  Queen  Marie 
Antoinette  his  august  consort, — repaired  at  eight  o'clock  in 
the  morning  to  the  old  Cemetery  of  the  Madeleine  at  No.  48 
Rue  d'Anjou-Saint-Honore. 

Having  entered  the  adjoining  house,  to  which  this  disused 
cemetery  now  serves  as  a  garden,  the  said  house  being  occupied 
by  the  Sieur  Desclozeaux,  who  formerly  bought  the  said 
cemetery  in  order  that  he  might  himself  watch  and  safeguard 
the  precious  remains  that  lay  there,  we  found  the  said  Sieur 
Desclozeaux  with  the  Sieur  Daujou  his  son-in-law,  several 
members  of  his  family,  and  the  Abbe  Renard,  formerly  senior 
curate  of  the  Madeleine.  They  took  us  into  the  old  cemetery 
and  again  pointed  out  to  us  the  spot  where  the  Sieur  Daujou 
had  declared  he  knew  and  could  attest  that  the  bodies  of 
Their  Majesties  had  been  laid,  as  recorded  in  the  report  of 
our  investigations  on  the  12th  of  last  May. 

Having  then  once  more  inspected  the  side  of  the  garden 
where  our  prescribed  search  was  to  be  made,  we  thought  it 
best  to  begin  by  looking  for  the  body  of  the  Queen,  in  order 
to  be  more  sure  of  discovering  that  of  His  Majesty  King 
Louis  XVI.,  which  we  had  reason  to  believe  was  nearer  to  the 
wall  of  the  cemetery,  on  the  side  towards  the  Rue  d'Anjou- 
Saint-Honore. 

After  watching  the  workmen — among  whom  was  a  witness 
of  the  Queen's  burial — make  an  excavation  measuring  ten 
feet  long  by  eight  wide  and  eight  deep,  we  came  upon  a  bed 
of  lime  of  about  ten  or  eleven  inches  deep,  and  we  had  this 
removed  with  the  greatest  care.  Beneath  it  we  found  the  very 
distinct  impression  of  a  coffin  five  and  a  half  feet  in  length. 

1  Namely  the  Orders  of  St.   Michael  and  of  the  Holy  Ghost.     (Trans- 
lator's note. ) 

274 


EXHUMATION  OF  KING  AND  QUEEN 

Along  the  sides  of  this  impression  traced  in  the  middle  of 
the  bed  of  lime  were  several  undamaged  pieces  of  plank  ;  and 
inside  this  coffin  we  found  a  great  number  of  bones,  obviously 
a  woman's,  which  we  carefully  gathered  up.  There  were  a  few 
missing,  however,  which  no  doubt  had  already  been  reduced 
to  dust ;  but  we  found  the  whole  head,  displaced  and  lying 
near  the  other  extremity  of  the  body,  and  showing  incontest- 
ably  by  its  position  than  it  had  been  severed  from  the  trunk. 
We  also  found  some  remains  of  a  woman's  garments,  notably 
two  elastic  garters  in  a  fair  state  of  preservation,  which  we 
removed,  together  with  two  pieces  of  the  coffin,  to  be  con- 
veyed to  His  Majesty. 

We  sent  for  a  box,  and  in  it  we  reverently  placed  the 
remains,  to  await  the  leaden  coffin  we  had  ordered. 

We  also  put  on  one  side  and  fastened  up  in  another  box  the 
earth  and  lime  found  mingled  with  the  bones,  which  was 
to  be  placed  in  the  same  coffin. 

Having  completed  this  operation  we  made  the  men  cover 
up  with  strong  planks  the  place  where  the  impression  of  Her 
Majesty  the  Queen's  coffin  was  found ;  and  we  then  pro- 
ceeded to  search  for  the  remains  of  His  Majesty  King  Louis 
XVI. 

In  this  case  also  we  followed  the  directions  that  had  been 
given  us,  and  made  the  workmen  dig  a  large  hole,  measuring 
fifteen  feet  long  by  twelve  deep,  between  the  place  where  the 
Queen's  body  had  been  found  and  the  cemetery  wall  near  the 
Rue  d'Anjou.  We  found  nothing,  however,  to  show  the 
presence  of  a  bed  of  lime  similar  to  that  which  marked  the 
Queen's  grave,  and  we  saw  we  should  be  obliged  to  dig  a  little 
deeper  in  the  same  direction ;  but  the  approach  of  night 
determined  us  to  suspend  our  work  and  postpone  it  till  the 
morrow. 

We  therefore  left  the  cemetery  with  the  workmen  we  had 
brought  with  us;  we  carefully  locked  the  door  and  took 
away  the  key  ;  and  we  carried  the  two  boxes  mentioned  above 
into  the  salon  of  the  Sieur  Desclozeaux,  after  sealing  them 
with  a  seal  bearing  the  arms  of  France.  The  said  boxes  were 
covered  with  a  pall  and  surrounded  with  tapers,  and  several 
of  His  Majesty's  chaplains  came  to  recite  the  prayers  of  the 

275  T  2 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

Church  beside  these  precious  remains  during  the  night.  The 
General  Superintendent  of  Police,  whom  we  summoned,  was 
desired  to  post  guards  at  the  door  and  round  the  cemetery, 
and  we  arranged  to  continue  our  operations  on  the  following 
day,  between  eight  and  nine  in  the  morning.  We  then  drew 
up  the  above  report  of  what  we  had  done,  and  signed  it, 
together  with  the  Sieur  Desclozeaux,  owner  of  the  ground, 
and  the  Sieur  Daujou,  his  son-in-law. 

Executed  and  sealed  in  Paris,  on  the  above  date  : 

RENAED,  formerly  senior  curate  of  the  Madeleine ; 

BAILLY  DE  CRUSSOL  ;  L.  DE  LA  FARE,  Bishop  of 

Nancy;  BLACAS  D'AULPS  ;  DESCLOZEAUX  ;  DAUJOU  ; 

le    docteur    DISTEL  ;      D'AMBRAY,     Lord    High 

Chancellor  of  France. 

On  the  19th  January,  1815,  we  again  proceeded  to  the 
cemetery  mentioned  above,  which  we  entered  at  half-past 
eight  in  the  morning  with  the  workmen  we  had  ordered  to  be 
there,  to  go  on  with  the  half-finished  work. 

The  workmen,  in  our  presence,  dug  a  trench  nine  feet  in 
depth,  a  short  distance  above  the  grave  of  Her  Majesty  the 
Queen,  and  nearer  to  the  wall  on  the  side  towards  the  Rue 
d'Anjou.  At  that  depth  we  came  upon  some  earth  mixed 
with  a  great  deal  of  lime  and  some  small  fragments  of  board, 
which  seemed  suggestive  of  a  wooden  coffin.  We  continued 
our  search  with  even  more  caution  than  before,  but  instead  of 
finding  a  bed  of  pure  lime  such  as  surrounded  the  coffin  of  the 
Queen  we  saw  that  the  earth  and  lime  had  obviously  been 
mixed  purposely,1  but  in  such  a  way  that  the  lime  very  much 
preponderated  in  the  mixture,  though  it  had  not  the  same 
solidity  as  the  lime  we  had  found  in  the  course  of  our  work 
on  the  previous  day. 

It  was  in  the  midst  of  this  lime  and  earth  that  we  found 
the  bones  of  a  man,  of  which  several  were  altogether  decayed 
and  on  the^point'of  falling  into  dust.  The  head  was  covered 
with  lime  and  lay  among  the  bones  of  the  legs,  a  fact  which 

1  This  circumstance  gave  rise  to  the  idea  that  the  grave  had  been 
searched  at  some  previousitime. 

276 


EXHUMATION  OF  KING  AND  QUEEN 

seemed  all  the  more  significant  to  us  because  this  position  was 
mentioned  as  that  of  Louis  XVI. 's  head  in  the  inquiry  made 
on  the  12th  May,  1814. 

We  made  a  very  careful  search  to  see  if  there  were  no 
traces  of  garments  left,  but  we  could  find  none,  no  doubt 
because,  since  there  was  much  more  lime  than  in  the  other 
case,  it  had  produced  a  greater  effect.  We  collected  all  the 
remains  we  could  find  in  this  confused  mass  of  earth,  lime  and 
bones,  and  we  wrapped  them  in  a  large  sheet  that  we  had 
prepared  for  the  purpose,  together  with  several  pieces  of  un- 
broken lime  that  were  adhering  to  the  bones. 

Although  the  spot  where  the  remains  had  been  discovered 
was  undoubtedly  the  place  where  several  eye-witnesses  of  the 
King's  burial  had  declared  His  Majesty's  body  to  have  been 
laid,  and  the  position  of  the  head  removed  any  possible 
uncertainty  as  to  the  success  of  our  search,  yet  we  did  not 
omit  to  make  another  excavation  twenty-five  feet  away,  to  a 
depth  of  twelve  feet,  to  see  if  there  were  no  complete  bed  of 
lime  that  would  mark  some  other  spot  as  being  the  King's 
grave.  But  this  additional  test  did  but  convince  us  still  more 
absolutely  that  we  were  in  possession  of  the  precious  remains 
of  Louis  XVI. 

We  reverently  enclosed  them  in  a  case  and  sealed  them 
with  the  arms  of  France.  We  then  removed  the  case  to  the 
room  in  which  the  remains  of  Her  Majesty  the  Queen  were 
already  lying,  in  order  that  the  clergy  already  gathered  there 
might  continue  offering  up  the  prayers  of  the  Church  beside 
the  two  bodies  until  the  time,  which  would  be  fixed  by  the 
King,  when  they  should  be  placed  in  leaden  coffins  and  re- 
moved to  the  royal  church  of  Saint-Denis. 

Concerning  all  of  which  we  have  drawn  up  and  written  the 
above  report,  which  has  been  signed  by  the  same  commission- 
ers and  witnesses  as  were  present  at  our  meeting  of  yesterday, 
and  in  addition  to  these  by  M.  le  due  de  Duras,  peer  of 
France  and  first  gentleman-of-the-bedchamber  to  His  Majesty, 
and  by  M.  le  marquis  de  Breze,  Grand  Master  of  the  Cere- 
monies of  France,  both  of  whom  were  present  during  the 
investigations  of  to-day  ;  and  also  by  M.  1'abbe  d'Astros,  vicar- 
general  of  Paris  and  one  of  the  administrators  of  the  diocese, 

277 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

(the  See  being  vacant),  who  was  with  us  at  the  time  of  the 
exhumation.1 

Executed  and  sealed  at  No.  48  Rue  d'Anjou,  at  the  hour 
and  on  the  date  mentioned  above. 

BAILLY  DE  CRUSSOL  ;  L.  DE  LA  FARE,  Bishop  of 
Nancy ;  BLACAS  D'AULPS  ;  DASTROS,  vicar- 
general;  Marquis  DE  BBEZE  ;  Due  DE  DURAS; 
Dr.  DISTEL  ;  RENARD  ;  DESCLOZEAUX  ;  DAUJOU  ; 
D'AMBRAY,  Lord  High  Chancellor  of  France. 

On  the  20th  January,  1815,  at  two  o'clock  in  the  afternoon, 
we  the  undersigned,  in  accordance  with  the  King's  orders, 
repaired  to  the  house  of  the  Sieur  Desclozeaux,  No.  48  Rue 
d'Anjou,  and  found  there  on  our  arrival  the  same  commission- 
ers who  had  taken  part  in  our  previous  operations,  together 
with  such  persons  as  were  entitled  by  their  offices  or  by  the 
King's  commands  to  be  present  while  the  precious  remains  of 
Their  Majesties  Louis  XVI.  and  Queen  Marie  Antoinette  were 
removed  from  the  sealed  cases  in  which  they  lay,  in  a  room  of 
the  said  house,  and  placed  in  lead  coffins.  To  wit  the  follow- 
ing commissioners  :  M.  le  Comte  de  Blacas,  Grand  Master  of 
the  King's  Wardrobe  ;  Monseigneur  de  la  Fare,  Bishop  of 
Nancy;  M.  le  Bailly  de  Crussol,  Peer  of  France;  and  in 
addition  to  these  the  Due  de  Duras,  Peer  of  France  ;  Ch.  de 
Crecy  ;  de  Noailles,  Prince  de  Poix,  Peer  of  France  and  Cap- 

1  An  eye-witness  of  this  ceremony  has  recorded  various  incidents  that 
would  have  been  unsuitable  in  the  official  documents. 

"  The  Cemetery  of  the  Madeleine  had  been  unused  since  1720  and  was 
only  re-opened  in  1793.  .  .  .  After  Robespierre's  death  it  was  again 
deserted,  and  being  sold  as  national  property  was  acquired  by  M. 
Desclozeaux,  whose  house  adjoined  this  melancholy  plot  of  ground.  He 
had  planted  sweet-scented  and  allegorical  trees  in  it,  and  had  levelled  the 
ground  and  covered  it  with  green  turf  mingled  with  flowers ;  and  in  the 
northern  corner  a  little  stone  cross  marked  the  burial-place  of  the  good  King. 
Louis  XVI. 's  body  was  found  ten  feet  below  the  surface  ;  that  of  the 
Queen  was  not  buried  so  deeply.  A  very  thick  bed  of  petrified  lime  pro- 
tected the  Queen's  coffin,  and  the  spectators  were  amazed  to  see  that 
after  twenty  years  there  were  still  some  remains  of  her  body.  M.  de 
Barentin,  who  was  eighty  years  of  age,  clasped  his  hands  and  prayed, 
kneeling  on  a  little  hill.  When  the  grave-diggers  produced  one  of  the 
Queen's  stockings,  her  elastic  garters,  and  some  of  her  hair,  the  Prince  de 
Poix  burst  into  tears,  uttered  a  cry,  and  fell  fainting  to  the  ground.  I 
was  at  a  window  of  the  neighbouring  house,  and  was  myself  a  witness  of 
all  I  have  just  described." 

278 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

tain  of  the  King's  Guards,  who  was  in  the  service  of  His 
Majesty  Louis  XVI.  until  the  10th  August,  1792,  inclusive. 

In  the  presence  of  which  persons  we  examined  the  boxes  and 
saw  that  the  seals  were  intact,  and  having  broken  these  we 
proceeded  to  transfer  the  precious  remains  from  the  said  boxes 
to  the  leaden  coffins  prepared  for  the  purpose. 

The  mortal  remains  of  His  Majesty  Louis  XVI.  were  placed 
in  a  large  coffin  with  several  pieces  of  lime,  which  had  been 
found  with  pieces  of  board  from  a  wooden  coffin  adhering  to 
them ;  the  leaden  coffin  was  then  at  once  covered  up  and 
soldered  by  the  plumbers  we  had  ordered  to  be  there,  and  on 
the  lid  was  fixed  a  plate  of  silver-gilt  bearing  this  inscription  : 
"  Here  lies  the  body  of  the  very  high,  very  puissant  and  very 
excellent  prince,  Louis  XVI.  of  the  name,  by  the  grace  of  God 
King  of  France  and  Navarre." 

The  same  operation  was  carried  out,  in  the  presence  of  the 
same  persons,  with  regard  to  the  remains  of  Her  Majesty 
Queen  Marie  Antoinette,  and  the  coffin  containing  them  was 
closed  in  the  same  way  and  soldered  by  the  same  plumbers, 
and  thus  inscribed : 

"  Here  lies  the  body  of  the  very  high,  very  puissant  and 
very  excellent  Princess  Marie- Antoinette-Josephine-Jeanne 
de  Lorraine,  archduchess  of  Austria,  wife  of  the  very  high, 
very  puissant  and  very  excellent  prince  Louis  XVI.,  by  the 
grace  of  God  King  of  France  and  Navarre." 

The  two  coffins  were  then  covered  with  the  pall,  and  left  to 
await  the  time  appointed  by  the  King  for  the  removal  to 
Saint-Denis  of  the  two  bodies  that  had  been  so  providentially 
recovered. 

Concerning   all  of  which  we  have  drawn   up  and   sealed 
this  report,  which  has  been  signed,  with  us,  by  the  above- 
named  persons,    together   with   Desclozeaux,  owner   of  the 
house,  and  Daujou  his  son-in-law,  in  Paris,  on  the  above  date. 
DESCLOZEAUX;  DAUJOU;  RENARD;  DISTEL,  Surgeon 
to  His  Majesty ;  DE  NOAILLES,  Prince  de  Poix  ; 
L.    DE  LA  FARE,  Bishop  of  Nancy;    BAILLY 
DE  CRUSSOL  ;  Due  DE  DURAS  ;  CH.  DE   CRECY  ; 
DE     BLACAS     D'AULPS  ;     Marquis    D'AMBRAY, 
Chancellor  of'  France. 
280 


EXHUMATION  OF  KING  AND  QUEEN 

We,  Louis,  etc.,  have  ordained  and  do  hereby  ordain  as 
follows :  A  monument  shall  be  erected  to  the  memory  of 
King  Louis  XVI.  and  Queen  Marie  Antoinette,  of  which  the 
first  stone  shall  be  laid  on  the  21st  January,  1815. 

Signed :  Louis. 

Foundation  of  the  Royal  Chapter  of  Saint-Denis. 

We,  Louis,  etc.,  have  ordained  and  do  hereby  ordain  that 
a  royal  Chapter  shall  be  established  in  perpetuity  at  Saint- 
Denis,  for  aged  or  infirm  bishops  and  priests  who,  after  a  long 
ministry,  shall  be  in  need  of  rest  from  their  holy  labours. 
They  will  replace  the  religious  order  that  formerly  guarded 
the  dust  of  the  Kings.  These  venerable  men,  in  virtue  of 
their  age,  their  vouchers  of  respectability,  and  their  labours, 
will  become  the  natural  guardians  of  that  asylum  of  the  dead, 
and  of  the  precious  remains  of  Louis  XVI.  and  Queen  Marie 
Antoinette,  which  are  shortly  to  be  transferred  thither,  etc. 
Given  at  the  Palace  of  the  Tuileries,  on  the  ~L9th  Jan.  1815. 

Signed:  Louis. 

Reward  granted  to  M.  Desclozeaux. 

The  King,  desiring  to  reward  the  pious  devotion  of  M. 
Desclozeaux,  to  whom  France  owes  the  preservation  of  the 
mortal  remains  of  Their  Majesties  Louis  XVI.  and  the  Queen 
his  august  consort, — since  by  purchasing  the  ground  in  which 
their  bodies  were  buried  he  secured  the  safety  of  these  precious 
relics, — has  granted  him  the  order  of  Saint  Michael  and  a 
pension  reversible  to  his  two  daughters.1 

Paris,  20th  Jan.  1815. 

BLACAS  D'AULPS, 
Minister  of  the  King's  Household. 

On  the  following  day,  January  21st,  1815,  the  twenty-second 
anniversary  of  the  King's  execution,  the  remains  of  Louis  XVI. 

1  Madame  la  duchesse  d' Angouleme  had  already  presented  M.  Desclozeaux 
with  the  portraits  of  Louis  XVI.  and  Marie  Antoinette,  as  a  mark  of  her 
gratitude. 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 


and  Marie  Antoinette  were  solemnly  conveyed  from  the  house  of 
M.  Desclozeaux  to  the  Church  of  Saint-Denis. 

By  seven  o'clock  in  the  morning  all  the  regiments  of  the 
garrison  of  Paris  were  armed  and  on  their  way,  with  crape  upon 
their  sleeves,  to  line  the  public  road  between  the  Rue  d'Anjou 
and  the  Church  of  Saint-Denis.  At  half-past  nine  the  coffins 
were  carried  from  the  chapelle  ardente  to  the  hearse  by  twelve 
men  belonging  to  the  Scottish  company  of  the  Guards  of  La 
Manche ;  and  the  procession  started  on  its  way. 

By  a  coincidence  that  was  perhaps  designed  the  road  from  the 
Madeleine  to  the  Porte  Saint-Denis,  which  Louis  XVI.'s  body 


tr 


PLAN  OF  THE  VAULT  OF  THE  BOURBONS. 


;  followed  that  day,  was  the  same  road  by  which  the  condemned 
King  had  travelled  in  the  opposite  direction,  on  the  same  day 
and  at  precisely  the  same  hour,  two  and  twenty  years  before. 
A  similar  display  of  troops  lined  the  boulevard  on  both  sides, 
and,  as  in  1 793,  a  strong  detachment  of  gendarmerie  led  the  way, 
while  the  grenadiers  and  light  infantry  of  the  line  marched  in 
close  column  with  their  arms  "at  the  carry,"  preceded  by  their 
coidnels  and  bands.  The  procession  proper  consisted  of  three 
eight-horsed  carriages  belonging  to  the  Court,  eight  eight- 
horsed  royal  carriages,  the  carriages  of  the  Due  d'Angouleme 
and  the  Due  de  Berry,  four  mounted  heralds,  the  Grand-Master, 
Master,  and  Assistant  Masters  of  the  Ceremonies,  also  mounted, 
the  hearse,  the  hundred  Swiss  Guards,  and  the  Body  Guard. 
Guns  were  fired  at  intervals  of  a  minute,  the  drums  and  other 

282 


EH 

S3 

N 

S     o 

li 
|i 

&3 
3  s 

5  £ 

|  U 
9    •* 

5  ^ 

6  "2 

s  § 
a  i 


EXHUMATION  OF  KING  AND  QUEEN 

instruments  were  veiled  in  black  serge,  the  flags  and  standards 
had  each  a  mourning  badge  of  crape. 

At  mid-day  the  funeral  service  began  at  Saint-Denis.  The 
whole  Court  and  all  the  governmental  bodies  were  present ;  but 
the  King  did  not  appear,  and  none  of  the  contemporary  accounts 
make  any  mention  of  Madame  la  duchesse  d'Angouleme  as 
taking  part  in  the  proceedings.  After  the  Dies  irce  had  been 
chanted  to  muted  instruments  Monseigneur  de  Boulogne,  Bishop 
of  Troyes,  gave  a  long  funeral  oration  ;  then  the  Absolution  was 
pronounced  and  the  coffins  taken  down  into  the  vaults,  whither 
Monseigneur  the  Due  d'Angouleme  and  Monseigneur  the  Due 
de  Berry  accompanied  them.  As  the  door  of  the  crypt  opened 
to  receive  the  remains  of  Louis  XVI.  and  Marie  Antoinette  the 
roar  of  many  guns  was  heard,  and  at  the  same  moment  all  the 
bells  began  to  ring.  At  two  o'clock  the  ceremony  was 
finished. 

This  vault  where  the  remains  of  the  King  and  Queen  were 
laid  that  day  in  the  very  centre  of  the  crypt,  under  the  choir  of 
the  basilica,  had  been  set  apart  for  more  than  two  centuries  as 
the  burial-place  of  the  House  of  Bourbon.  In  1 793  the  Conven- 
tion, prompted  by  a  report  by  Barere,  had  decreed  the  removal 
of  all  the  coffins  at  Saint-Denis,  and  on  the  6th,  7th  and  8th 
August  the  first  steps  were  taken  towards  carrying  out  this 
order.  On  these  days,  however,  none  but  the  tombs  of  the 
Capetians  were  touched. 

On  Saturday,  October  12th,  the  vault  of  the  Bourbons  was 
opened  and  the  body  of  Henri  IV.  removed.  It  appears  that  the 
workmen  did  nothing  on  the  Sunday  ;  but  on  Monday  the  14th 
they  opened  the  coffins  of  Louis  XIII.,  Louis  XIV.,  Anne  of 
Austria,  Marie  de  Medicis,  Marie  Therese,  and  the  Grand 
Dauphin.  On  the  15th  October  twenty-one  more  bodies  were 
thrown  into  the  common  trench,  and  again  on  Wednesday  the 
l6th,  while  Marie  Antoinette  was  on  her  way  to  the  scaffold, 
twenty-one  coffins  were  opened,  including  those  of  Louis  XV. 
and  Louis  Joseph  Xavier,  first  Dauphin,  the  son  of  the  Queen 
who  died  in  that  same  hour.  And  by  the  25th  October  the 
basilica  had  been  robbed  of  all  its  tombs,  or  at  least  of  all  that 
could  be  found. 

We  have  just  seen  how  the  bodies  of  Louis  XVI.  and  Marie 
Antoinette  were  laid  in  the  empty,  desolate  vault.  During  the 
period  of  the  Restoration  they  were  followed  thither  by  the  remains 

283 


LAST  DAYS  OF  MARIE  ANTOINETTE 

of  Louis  XV. 's  daughters,  Mesdames  Adelaide  and  Victoire,  who 
died  abroad  and  were  laid  in  the  vault  of  Saint-Denis  in  1817. 
Then,  in  1818,  came  the  Prince  de  Conde ;  in  1820  the  Due  de 
Berry  and  the  two  little  princesses,  his  daughters,  who  died  when 
they  were  only  a  few  days  old  ;  in  1 824,  Louis  XVIII.  ;  and  in  1 830 
the  Prince  de  Conde,  who  died  at  Saint-Leu.  The  coffins  of 
King  Louis  VII.,  of  Louise  de  Lorraine,  Henri  III.'s  wife,  and 
of  two  princes  of  the  House  of  Conde,  which  had  escaped  the 
profanations  of  1793,  were  also  placed  here.  Such  was  the  vault 
of  the  Bourbons  at  the  time  of  the  Revolution  of  1830. 

It  was  not  opened  again  till  1859-  In  that  year  Napoleon  III. 
ordered  a  huge  crypt  to  be  prepared,  to  receive  the  remains  of 
members  of  the  imperial  family ;  and  indeed  he  seems  to  have 
thought  of  placing  the  body  of  Napoleon  I.  here.  This  under- 
taking reduced  the  size  of  the  vault  of  the  Bourbons  by  more 
than  a  half.  M.  le  Comte  de  Chambord,  on  being  consulted, 
expressed  a  desire  that  this  vault  where  his  ancestors  lay  should 
be  closed  and  made  inaccessible,  in  consequence  of  which  the 
door  was  walled  up.  This  state  of  things  remained  unaltered 
until  a  few  years  ago,  when  fresh  repairs  made  it  necessary 
for  the  architects  to  enter  this  chapel  of  the  dead,  where 
damp,  mildew,  and  the  ravages  of  time  were  freely  working 
their  will. 

But  before  the  recent  repairs  this  crypt,  one  must  admit, 
presented  as  moving  a  sight  as  could  possibly  be  seen.  It  was 
visible  only  through  a  grated  skylight :  its  dismal  walls  showed 
dimly  in  the  faint  glow  of  a  lamp,  lit  from  without ;  and  through 
the  shadows  loomed  the  vague  outlines  of  the  coffins,  with  their 
tattered  velvet  palls  all  ruined  by  the  damp.  From  this  desolate 
spot  there  rose  a  breath  of  fetid  air. 

The  vault  has  now  been  cleaned,  and  though  the  public  is 
never  admitted  it  is  at  least  possible  to  open  the  door,  so  that 
the  place  can  be  kept  decently  cared  for.  No  drawing  of  it,  we 
believe,  has  been  published  until  now :  the  sketch  we  reproduce 
was  taken  on  the  spot  by  M.  Joseph  Beuzon,  on  the  occasion 
of  M.  Maurice  Pascal's  visit  to  the  royal  burial-place  on 
the  24th  March,  1896.1  The  plan  that  accompanies  the  print 

1  "  The  Government,"  wrote  M.  Maurice  Pascal  to  us  at  the  time,  "  has 
provided,  at  its  own  expense,  some  new  coffins  of  a  very  simple  kind,  into 
which  have  been  slipped  the  old  coffins  that  are  so  greatly  damaged  by 
time.  Monseigneur  le  due  d'Aumale,  however,  has  had  the  coffins  of  the 

284 


EXHUMATION  OF  KING  AND  QUEEN 

will  enable  the  reader  to  identify  the  coffin  of  Queen  Marie 
Antoinette. 

Princes  de  Conde  re-covered  and  ornamented  with  a  silver  plate.  On  the 
coffin  that  contains  the  remains  of  the  Queen  are  engraved  these  words 
only:  Marie- Antoinette  de  Lorraine- Autriche,  epouse  de  Louis  XVI,  roi 
de  France.  A  great  mass  of  plaster  had  fallen  on  this  coffin  from  the  roof. 
The  Comtesse  de  Hulst,  the  Comte  de  Reiset,  and  I  took  out  our  handker- 
chiefs and  cleaned  this  poor  coffin  that  seems  to  be  pursued  by  fate  even 
here  in  its  resting-place.  Close  beside  that  of  the  Queen  is  that  of  Louis 
XVIII.,  in  a  fair  state  of  preservation.  It  has  therefore  not  been  touched  : 
one  can  distinguish  its  covering  of  violet  velvet  beneath  the  thick  coat- 
ing of  dust ;  and  the  gold  lace  glittered  in  the  light  of  our  candles." 


285 


INDEX 


INDEX 


ABBAYE  Prison,  129,  236  ;  imprison- 
ment of  M.  Rohan-Chabot,  20 and  n. 

Abbaye-Saint  Germain,  battalion  of, 
16 

Adelaide,  Mme.,  283 

Admiralty  Court,  238  and  n  2,  239 

Almanack,  Royal,  for  1780,  cited, 
238  n'1;  for  1793,  33 

Am  bray,  Henri  d',  Chancellor  of 
France,  statement  concerning  burial 
of  Marie  Antoinette  and  Louis 
XVI.,  269-84 

Amnesty,  law  of  1816,  258 

Andre,  d',  260 

Angers,  77 

Angouleme,  Due  d',  221,  281,  282 

Angouleme,  Duchesse  d',  211-12, 
215  n,  220-21,  245,  274,  282; 
gratitude  to  Turgy,  60 ;  incidents 
of  her  imprisonment  in  the  Temple, 
69,  70,  79,  80,  115  andn,  137-43  ; 
account  of  M.  Antoinette's  suffer- 
ings, 96  n  ;  characteristics,  175  ; 
reference  of  Rosalie  Lamorliere 
to,  180 ;  evidence  regarding  Marie 
Antoinette,  196 ;  reward  to  the 
Abbe  Magnin,  203;  letter  of  Marie 
Antoinette  to,  quoted,  260  ;  receives 
her  mother's  will,  263 

Anjou,  Margaret  of,  142  n 

Anne  of  Austria,  282 

Archier,  M.,  deputy,  motions  of, 
19-20 

Arcosse,  M.  Foss6  d',  264  w2 

Arsenal,  the  attack  on  the,  202 

Artois,  Comte  d',  his  offices  in  the 
Temple,  23, 24, 26 :  see  also  Charles  X. 

Artois,  Province  of,  protest  of  the 
Communes,  92-93 

Assembly,  the  Legislative,  Royal 
Family  detained  after  the  Varennes 


flight,  1-3,  9-12  ;  sitting  of  August 
llth,  verbatim  report,  14-20  ;  over- 
ruled by  the  Paris  Commune, 
21-22 ;  Dau jon's  appeal  to,  43  ; 
grant  to  Louis  XVI.,  88  n 

Astros,  M.  1'Abbe  d',  277,  278 

Atkins,  Mrs.,  196 

Aubier,  M.  de,  8  n 

Aughie,  M.,  7?i 

Aughie,  Mme.  Adelaide:  see  Augu- 
aire,  Mme. 

Auguaire,  Mme. ,  7  and  n 

Aulps,  d'  :  see  Blacas 

Aumale,  Due  d',  283  n 

Aussonne,  Lafont  d',  historical  accu- 
racy disputed,  150,  152  71  \  156  n  2, 
190,  244  7i ;  Memoir e  au  Roi, 
quoted,  156  n l ;  treatment  of 
Rosalie  Lamorliere's  story,  175 ; 
attack  on  the  Abbe  Magnin's  state- 
ment, 203-4 ;  Lafausse  Communion 
de  la  Reine,  223-24;  attempt  to 
subvert  evidence  in  matter  of  the 
Queen's  Communion,  224-26 

Austria,  negotiations  with,  as  to 
Marie  Antoinette,  145-47 

Auteuil,  178 

Autun,  seminary  of,  203 

BAILLY,  M.,  133,  235 

Barassin,  161  and  w2 

Barbier,  M.  A.  T.,  33 

Barentin,  M.  de,  278  n 

Barillet,  Recherches  sur  le  Temple,  22 

Barnave,  death  of,  141 

Barrere,  M.,  147,  282 

Basset  trial,  the,  196 

Batz,  M.,  plot  to  save  the  King,  99 n, 

196 
Bault,  Mme.,    212,    221-22,    247 7*  ; 

narrative  of,    186-95 ;    testifies  to 


289 


u 


INDEX 


Abbe     Magnin's      story,     204-5 ; 

letters  to  M.  Magnin  quoted,  222, 

227  ;  Aussonne's  attempt  to  bribe, 

224-26 
Bault,  M.,  15871,   212-13,   218,  242, 

256  ;  installed  at  the  Conciergerie, 

187-95;     letter  from    M.    Lafont 

d'Aussonne  to,  224-26 
Baye,  Baron  de,  272 
Bazin  and  Civeton,  MM.,  Engraving 

of  M.  Menjaud's  picture  by,  215  n 
Bazire,    account    of   the    September 

massacres,  48 

Beauchesne,  cited,  22,  33,  34 
Beaulieu,  Madame,  152  and  n l 
Beaulieu,  M.,  152 
Be"chet,  M. ,  ministrations  to  prisoners 

of  the  Conciergerie,  198 
Becquey,  M.,  258,  262 
Bellange,  architect  of  the  Temple,  23 
Bernard,  Pierre  (or  Jacques  Claude), 

Commissioner,  76  and  n ;   Q5n,  114 
Berry,  Due  de,  205  n,  215  n,  281-83 
Bertaud,  153 

Bertin,  M.  Georges,  cited,  33 
Beugneou,  110 
Beugnot,  M.,  151 
Beuzon,  M.  Joseph,  265,  283 
Billaud-Varennes,    Procureur-general 

to  the  Commune,  62  ;  quoted,  52 
Blacas,  M.  le  Comte  de,  273,  274, 276, 

278,  279,  280 
Blamont,    Mine,     de,     recovers    her 

liberty,  197  n 
Blanc,  Louis,  Histoirede  la  Revolution, 

127  n 

Blandin,  M.,  220 
Bombelles,  Mine,  de,  78 
Bon,  Jean,  147 
Borie,  Commissioner,  56 
Boulogne,  Monseigneur  de,  Bishop  of 

Troyes,  282 
Bourbon,  House  of,    burial-place  of, 

281,  282-84  and  nn 
Bourbon-Conde,     Princesse      Louise 

Adelaide  de,  61 
Bouyou,  M.,  murder  of,  6  n 
Boze,  Mme.  160-61  and  n ;  informa- 
tion given  to  Mme.  Simon-Vouet, 

177-78 
Breard,  M.,  deputy,  motions  of,  16, 

18 
Breze,  le  Marquis  de,  8  and  n:  277, 

278 

Brienne,  Lomenie  de,  255  n 
Briges,  M.  de,  8  n 


Brissot,  followers  of,  death  of 
decreed,  147,  148-49 

Brunier,  Dr.,  Tison's  accusations 
against,  96  n,  129  n ;  sent  for  by 
Marie  Antoinette,  115  and  n,  116 

Brunot,  Tison's  accusations  against, 
96  n,  129  n. 

Brussels,  negotiations  with,  as  to 
Marie  Antoinette,  145,  147 

Bruyan,  Abb6  Philibert,  198  n 

Bune,  de,  171 

Burger,  Mr.,  letters  to  Lord  Gran- 
ville,  58  n 

Burial  of  the  victims  of  the  Revolu- 
tion, 267,  268 

Busne,  Louis  Fra^ois  de,  229  ;  narra- 
tive of  Marie  Antoinette's  execution 
by,  245-46 

Cassar's  Tower,  in  the  Temple,  25 

Galon,  M.,  14 

Cambon,  147 

Campan,  Mme.,  7  n 

Campardon,  M.,  196,  247  n,  262  TO, 
cited,  50,  170n,  252  n 

Carlet,  M.,  26 

Carnation,  affair  of  the,  effects,  146, 
149,  157,  159  n,  164-66,  212,  241 

Carrousel,  the,  54  n 

Caumont,  Commissioner,  56 

Cemeteries  of  the  Terror,  268 

Cemetery  of  the  Precincts  of  the 
Temple,  26 

Chabot,  deputy,  62,  146 

Challamel,  A.,  Clubs  Contre-rdvolu- 
tionnaires,  196  n 

Chambord,  M.  le  Comte  de,  283 

Chambre  des  Comptes,  Paris,  99  n 

Champion,  M.,  222 

Champs-Elysees,  5 

Chantilly,  147 

Charles  X.,  215  n 

Charles,  M.  :  see  Magnin,  Abb6 

Chatelet,  the,  Septembrist  attack  on, 
54rc 

Chaumette,  M.,  Procureur  of  the  Tri- 
bune, reply  to  Cubieres,67w  ;  Coun- 
cil meeting  on  day  of  King's  death, 
95  ;  visit  to  the  Temple,  96  n,  108  ; 
regulations  regarding  the  Midnight 
Mass  on  Christmas  Eve,  110  ;  plate 
used  by  the  Queen  in  the  possession 
of,  162?i 

Chauveau-Lagarde,  M.,  Counsel  for 
the  Queen,  253  n,  260 ;  Notes  of 
the  Trial  by,  228-34 


290 


INDEX 


Chimay,  Mme.  le  Princesse  de,  212, 
219-21 

Choiseul,  Duchesse  de,  259,  262-63 

Choiseul,  M.  de,  8w 

Choisy-le-Roi,  Chateau  de,  76 

Cholet,  M.,  Abbe,  visits  to  the 
Conciergerie,  214  and  n,  219, 
222 

Choudieu,  M.,  motions  of,  14-16,  18- 
19 

Chousy,  M.  Menard  de,  60 

Chretien,  man-servant  in  the  Temple, 
30,  80,  135 

Christmas  Eve,  1792,  suspension  of 
the  Midnight  Mass,  110 

Clery,  M. ,  accompanies  Royal  Family 
to  the  Temple,  12 ;  History  of  the 
Temple,  34-35;  Journal  cited,  41 
and  n,  63  ;  meeting  with  Turgy, 
59 ;  his  duties  in  the  Temple,  69- 
70,  83,  88,  94,  105,  108,  135  and  n, 
136,  138, 139,  187  ;  note  from  Louis 
XVI.,  70  ;  his  room  in  the  Temple, 
90  ;  forbidden  to  attend  on  Marie 
Antoinette,  97  ;  sorrow  on  death 
of  the  King,  98-99 ;  gives  Com- 
munion Tablecloth  of  Louis  XVI. 
to  Lepitre,  116 

Clootz,  268 

Cointre,  M.  le,  260,  262 

Colbert,  Inspection  of  Ancient  Build- 
ings, report  cited,  84  n 

Collard,  Royer,  214  n 

College  de  France,  81 

Colombeau,  registrar,  108 

Colson,  Mme.,  158 

Commandery  of  the  Temple,  24-25, 
25  n 

Committee  of  General  Security,  257  ; 
measures  to  prevent  escape  of  the 
Royal  Family,  39  ;  investigation  of 
the  Carnation  conspiracy,  158-59 
and  n 

Committee  of  Public  Safety,  measures 
to  prevent  escape  of  Royal  Family, 
39,  42  n  ;  their  perplexity  in  deal- 
ing with  the  Queen,  145,  146; 
secret  meeting  of  September  2nd, 
minutes  quoted,  146-49 

Committee  of  Surveillance  of  the 
Legislative  Assembly,  14,  39 

Commune  of  Paris — Convention  and, 
relations  between,  104,  130  ;  Dau- 
jon's  appeal  to,  43  ;  General  Coun- 
cil of,  control  "over  Council  of  the 
Temple,  37-38,  41,  113,  134;  com- 


position, 89 ;  sitting  of  August 
10th,  81 ;  Goret's  account  of,  82 ; 
sitting  of  April  20th,  1793,  129  n  ; 
sitting  of  September  30th,  1793, 
136  n  ;  Legislative  Assembly  and, 
relations  between,  16  n,  21-22, 
23  n ;  treatment  of  the  Royal 
Family,  96  n  ;  reception  in  the 
Temple,  27  ;  measures  to  prevent 
their  escape,  39-40,  40  n  ;  visits  to 
the  Temple,  62;  report  of  food 
consumed  by  the  prisoners,  86-87  n  ; 
provision  for  meals  for  the  Royal 
Family,  88 ;  arrangements  for  the 
King's  death,  85 ;  general  feelings 
of,  on  the  King's  death,  114; 

Question  of  the  Queen's  mourning, 
15 
Communes  of  Artois,  the  law-suit  by, 

92-93 

Conciergerie,  the — C  ouncil  Room, 
position  of,  151,  152  n ;  Cour  des 
Femmes,  158,  167  ;  drawing  of, 
189  ;  Cour  du  Preau,  239 ;  Marie 
Antoinette  transferred  from  the 
Temple  to,  144-45 ;  details  of  her 
imprisonment  (Mme.  Simon  Vouet), 
176-85;  (Mme.  Bault),  186-95; 
(Rosalie  Lamorliere),  150-71  ;  the 
Queen's  Communion,  196-206,  210, 
213,  215-27 ;  Mass  celebrated  by 
the  Abbe  Magnin,  200 ;  plan  of 
part  of,  1793,  151  ;  passage  leading 
to  the  Queen's  cell,  illustration, 
155  ;  religious  ministrations  for  the 
condemned,  198-204 

Conde,  Prince  de,  72,  283 

Convention,  the— Committees  of,  69, 
130;  Decree  of,  summoning  the 
Queen  before  the  Tribunal,  145 ; 
Louis  XVI.  taken  before,  32,  108  ; 
their  promise  to  him,  140-41  ; 
measures  to  prevent  escape  of 
Royal  Family,  39;  Paris  to  be 
allied  with,  by  death  of  Marie 
Antoinette,  147 ;  St.  Denis,  re- 
moval of  coffins  from,  decreed  by, 
1793,  282  ;  separation  of  the  Royal 
prisoners,  112;  votes  of,  sale  of, 
146 

Corday,  Charlotte,  265 

Cordeliers,  the,  77 

Cornu,  Mme.,  162  n 

Cortey,  M.  de,  plot  to  save  the  King, 
99  n 

Couci-le-Chateau,  85 


291 


INDEX 


Council  of  the  Temple,  composition 
and  working  of  the,  37-38,  41,  43, 
83,  134 

Cour  de  la  Corderie,  Temple,  25 
Cour  de  la  Saint-Chapelle,  153 
Cour  de  Chameau,  Temple,  25 
Cour  du  Lion  d'Or,  Temple,  25 
Cournaud,  Abbe,  81 
Court  of  the  Chapter-house,  Temple, 

26,  27 

Court  of  the  Dungeon,  Temple,  27 
Courtois,    Edme  Bona venture,    256  ;- 
retention    of    the    Queen's    glove, 
193  n ;    conduct  of,   in  matter  of 
Marie  Antoinette's  will,  257-63 
Courtois,  Mme. ,  262  and  n 
Crecy,  Ch.  de,  278,  279 
Crequi,  Marquise  de,  173  and  n 
Crussol,  M.  le  Bailly  de,  274,   276, 

278,  279 
Cubieres,   Chevalier  de,   account  of, 

67  n 
Curzon,   Henri    de,   La    Maison  du 

Temple,  quoted,  26,  84  n 
Custine,  General,  153 

DAMOREAU,  M.  T Abbe,  270 
Dangers,  inspector  of  police,  187 
Danjou,  Jean  Pierre,  unfrocked  priest, 

confusion  of  facts  regarding,  33-34, 

95  and  n 

Danton,  261  ;  death,  198  n 
Dash,  Comtesse,  Memoires  des  autres, 

llln 

Dauban,  253  n l 
Daujoii,  Commissioner  of  the  Tribune, 

narrative    of,     33-58  ;     character, 

35-36 
Daujou,   Sieur  Emmanuel,   272,  273, 

276,  278,  279 
Dauphin,  the  Grand,  282 
Dauphin,  the  :  see  Louis  XVII. 
David,   sketch  of  the  Queen  on  her 

way  to  the  scaffold,  by,  251 
Deconzie',   M.,  Bishop  of  Barras,  93 

and  n 

Degon  :  see  Courtois 
Delarc,  Abbe",  198  n 
Delesquelle,  commissioner,  57 
Delille,  Abbe,  81 
Dentzel,  202  n 
Desclozeaux,  Pierre  Louis  Olivier,  his 

ownership  of    the  burial-place   of 

Louis  XVI.  and  Marie  Antoinette, 

265-68,    271-79   passim;    rewards 
given  to,  280  and  n 


Desessarts,  narrative  of  Marie  An- 
toinette's execution  by,  249 

Desfosses,  Vicomte  Charles,  narrative 
of  Marie  Antoinette's  execution 
by,  250  and  n  252 

Desjardins,  Abbe,  204,  221 

Devienne,  Mine.,  at  Sainte-Pelagie, 
132 

Distel,  Dr.,  274,  276,  278,  279 

Dobsent,  149 

Drake,  Francis,  secret  service  of,  51  n, 
146-47  ;  MSS.  of,  quoted,  147-49 
and  n 

Dreux,  remains  of  Mme.  de  Lam- 
balle  at,  52,  55 

Dropmore,  51  n,  58  n 

Ducatel,  231  n 

Dufengray,  Sieur,  quoted,  162  n 

Dufour,  narrative  of,  4-12 

Dufrene,  gendarme,  156  n2,  157,  244 

Dumasbon,  Francoise  Germaine,  106  n 

Duplay,  256 

Duport,  Adrien,  260 

Duport-du-Terre,  death  of,  141 

Duras,  M.  le  Due  de,  277-79 

Dutilleul,  Mile.,  187 

ECKARD,  Histoire  de  Louis  X  VII,  60 

Edge  worth,  Abbe"  :   see  Firmont 

Egremont,  Mme.  d',  in  Les  Feuillants, 

,  7  and  n,  12 

Elizabeth,  Madame — Code  of  signs 
arranged  with  Turgy,  72-73  ;  list  in 
her  handwriting,  64 ;  Dauphin's 
deposition,  her  horror  at,  35  ;  death 
of,  255 ;  imprisonment  in  the 
Temple,  incidents  (Daujon),  41  ; 
(Turgy),  63,  64,  69-74;  (Goret), 
82-85,  90-91,  96  n,  97-101; 
(Lepitre),  106-31  passim  ;  (Moelle), 
137-143  passim ;  letters  and  notes 
to  Turgy  in  the  Temple,  59,  70, 
71,  76-80,  107  n ;  to  Mile.  Serent, 
66 ;  Marie  Antoinette's  enquiries 
for,  192;  the  Queen's  letter  to, 
222-23  ;  see  also  Marie  Antoinette, 

,  will  of ;  personality,  124,  141-42 

Emery,  Abbe,  ministrations  in  the 
Conciergerie,  198-200 ;  account  of, 

,  199w 

Emigres,  laws  against,  66 

Emilie  de  Laborde,  116  n 

England,  secret  information  as  to 
French  affairs,  146-47 

Errancis,  Les,  cemetery  of,  268 


292 


INDEX 


Eudel,  Paul,  UHotd  Drouot   et    la 

curiositt,  256  n 
Eve-Vaudremont,      Sieur     Richard, 

271-72 
Expiatory  chapel,  position  of,  264-66 

FABRICIUS,  Registrar,  243 

Fare,  Mgnr.  de  la,  274-76,  278,  279 

Faubourg  Antoine,  storming  of,  202  n 

Faubourg  Saint-Honore,  5 

Faubourg  Saint-Martin,  35 

Fauchet,  M.,  deputy,  motion  of,  20 

Federation  Festival,  77 

Ferrie,  Sieur  Pierre,  56 

Firmont,  Abbe  Edgeworth  de, 
Memoires,  73  and  n  ;  mentioned  in 
letters  of  Mme.  Elizabeth,  78 

Fleury,  Mme.,  at  Sainte-Pelagie,  132 

Follope,  M. ,  warning  to  Turgy,  74-5, 
75  n 

Forgues,  147 

Fortescue,  J.  B.,  MSS.  of,  51 n,  58  n, 
146  n,  149 n 

Fortescue,  Mile.,  215 n,  227;  Abbe 
Magnin  introduced  into  the  Con- 
ciergerie  by,  200,  218-19,  221 ;  Re- 
collections of,  207-14;  victims  of 
the  Revolution  assisted  by,  217-18 

Fouche,  Rev.  Father,  letter  of, 
quoted,  209  n 

Foundlings'  Cemetery,  Mme.  de 
Lamballe's  head  buried  in,  57 

Fouquier-Tinville,  official  acts  as 
Member  of  the  Revolutionary  Tri- 
bunal, 145,  157,  183,  191,  193  and 
n,  194,  196  n,  201,  232  n,  236,  241, 
256,  260,  262 

France,  power  of  money  in,  146 

Friedrichs,  M.  Otto,  collection  of,  30 

Froidure,  144 

GACHET,  opens  canteen  in  Temple,  30 
Gagnie,  man-servant  in  Temple,  30 
Garde-Meuble  of  the  Crown,  5-6 
Gaulot,   Paul,    Un   Complot   sous    la 

Terreur,  102  n,  107  n,  116  n 
Genet,  M.,  7  n 
Gerardin,  illustration  by,  155 
Gilbert,  Gendarme,  156  n2,  157,  244 
Gilbert-des-Voisins,  M.,  241 
Girard,    M.,   Cure  of  Saint-Landry, 

ministrations  of,  refused  by  Marie 

Antoinette,  167  n,  204  n,  223 
Giraud,  M.,  surgeon,  196  n 
Girondists,  the  Address  against  the, 

130 


Gobel,  146 

Goguelat,  M.  de,  8  n 

Golowkin,  Comtesse  de,  212 

Goncourt,  E.  and  J.  de,  Histoire  de 
Marie  Antoinette,  quoted,  264 n2 

Goret,  M.,  Town-Councillor,  32,  34; 
quoted  concerning  the  deposition 
of  the  Dauphin,  35  ;  description 
of  Daujon,  35-36 ;  narrative  of, 
81-101 

Gosselin,  Abbe,  Vie  de  M.  Emery, 
199  n 

Grammont,  252  and  n 

Grangeneuve,  connection  with  the 
Rohan-Chabot  incident,  14-20 

Grenville,  Lord,  correspondence  of 
Francis  Drake  with,  51  and  n,  146 

Guadet,  President,  2 

Guards  of  La  Manche,  281 

Guffroy,  M.,  260,  262 

Guy,  clerk  (probably  Guy  Ricard), 
loyalty  of,  116?i,  118 

Guyot,  Mme.,  plan  for  Marie  An- 
toinette's escape,  196  n 


HALLES,  Section  des,  55 

Hanriot,  Commander-in-Chief,  144 

Hardy,  M.,  268 

Harel,  Mme.,  surveillance  of  Marie 
Antoinette  in  the  Conciergerie,  156 
and  n,  157-59,  241 

Haussmann,  M.,  deputy,  17,  20 

Haymarket  section,  56 

Hebert,  229,  236,  268  ;  the  deposition 
of  the  Dauphin,  35,  50-51  ;  visit 
to  Mme.  Elizabeth,  79  ;  denuncia- 
tion of  Toulan  and  Lepitre,  125, 
127  ;  his  accusations  against  Marie 
Antoinette,  132,  133,  236;  death 
of  Marie  Antoinette  demanded  by, 
147-49 

Heninlietard,  commune  of,  93 

Hennet,  Ulpieu,  song  attributed  to, 


Henri  IV.,  282 

Henriette,  wife  of  Charles  L,  142w 

Herault,  147 

Hermopolis,  Monseigneur  d',  215  n 

Heron,  Citizen,  224 

Hervelin,  Jacques-Charles,  drummer, 

55 

Hervilee,  P.  d',  198  w1 
Hohenlohe,  Princess  of,  59 
Hospice  de  1'Archeveche,  196  n 
Hospice  de  la  Pitie,  76 


293 


INDEX 


Hospital  for  Incurables,  Mme.  Simon- 

Vouet's  visit  to,  178  and  n,  185 
Hoste  de  Beaulieu   de  Versigny,    1', 


Hotel  de  Bel- Air,  Temple,  25 
Hotel  de  Boisboudran,  Temple,  25 
Hotel  de  Bouffleurs,  Temple,  25 
Hotel  de  Guise,  Temple,  25 
H6tel  de  Louvois,  53 
Hotel  de  Rostaing,  Temple,  25,  26 
Hotel  de  Toulouse,  53,  54  n 
Hotel  Dieu,  101,  196  ;  removal  of  the 

woman  Tison  to,  74  and  n 
Hotel  Poirier,  Temple,  25 
Hotel  Vernicourt,  Temple,  27 
Hue,    M.,  valet  de    chatnbre,  arrest, 

41  and  n  ;  his  book,  63  ;  loyalty, 

65,  70,  187,  196 
Humbert,  Bros.,  230 n 

INSURRECTION  of  the  4th  and  5th 
planned,  147 ;  insurrection  of 
Prairial,  202 

Isabey,  restoration  of  the  Marie 
Antoinette  portrait,  8  n 

Isle-Adam,  L',  147 

JACOBIN  CLUB,  the,  69,  252 
Jacobins,     attack     on     La    Chaste 

Suzanne,  127 

Jacoubet,  plan  of  Paris,  1835,  266. 
Jacquotot,  M.,  103  and  n  105 
James  II.,  142  n 
Jarjayes,   Chevalier  de,   loyalty  of, 

102,  116  and  n,  118,  119  n,  196 
Jarjayes,  Mme.  de,  233  n 
Jeanne,  Sister,  220 
Jolivet,  Mme.  le,  facts  related  by, 

176-77 

Joly,  grave-digger,  264  and  n  2 
Joly,  Mme.,  at  Sainte-Pelagie,  132 
Jourdeuil,  264  n 
Julie,  Sister,  220 
Juvisy,  116 

KERAVENAN,  Abbe,  198  n 

Knights    Templars,    the,   23,   25  n ; 

their  idea  in  building  the  Temple 

prison,  84  n 
Kocharsky,  196 
Kotzebue,  267 


LA  CHARiT6-SAiNT-RocH,  Sisters  of, 
197 


La  Chaste  Suzanne,  scenes  created  by, 
127  and  n,  128 

La  Force,  prison  of,  53  and  n,  54  n, 
56,  186,  212,  242 

La  Vendee,  rising  of,  120,  121  n 

Laboullee,  Citoyenne,  196 

Laboullee,  M.,  The  Little  Laboullee, 
196  n 

Labrousse,  Chevalier  de,  142 

Labuziere,  168 

Lachassaigne,  Mme.,  132 

Lafayette,  M.,  254  and  n  ;  before  the 
National  Assembly,  18-19;  Marie 
Antoinette's  condemnation  of,  141 

Lafiteau,  Surgeon,  100  n 

Lagny,  M.  de,  223 

Lamaignere,  Sieur  Antoine,  271 

Lamarche,  gendarme,  156  n  >J,  200- 
202  and  n 

Lamarliere,  General,  72 

Lanmrliere,  Mme.  de,  164 

Lamarque,  2 

Lamballe,  Princesse  de,  231  n ; 
accompanies  Royal  Family  to  Les 
Feuillants,  7,  9  n ;  murder  of,  34, 
43-49,  52-55,  186 ;  finding  of  the 
remains,  55-58 ;  relations  with 
Philippe  Egalite,  57-58 

Lamorliere,  Rosalie,  Narrative  of, 
150-71  ;  in  the  Hospital  for  In- 
curables, 175  ;  personality,  179  ; 
Mme.  Simon  -  Vouet's  interview 
with,  179-85 

Lanjuinais,  M.,  127  and  n 

Lariviere,  Mme.,  attendance  on  Marie 
Antoinette,  154,  156,  240 

Lariviere,  Louis,  turnkey,  176 ;  ac- 
count of,  238  and  n  ^39  ;  narrative 
of  the  Queen's  execution  by,  238-44 

Launoy,  Mme.,  109  n 

Lazare,  Louis,  264 

Le  Monde,  letter  of  Father  Fouch6 
quoted  in,  209  n ;  declaration  of 
the  Abbe  Magnin  quoted,  215  n 

Lebeau,  the  Queen's  gaoler  at  the 
Conciergerie,  158  and  n-GQ,  164, 
166-69,  181,  183 

Lechenard,  the  tailor,  excesses  at  the 
Temple,  112  ;  denounces  Toulan  in 
the  Commune,  126,  128 

Legentil,  Mine.  Alexandre,  214  n 

Legot,  M.,  260,  262 

Lepitre,  Jacques  Francois,  96  n ; 
Recollections  of,  102-33  ;  character, 
102-3;  accusations  against,  111, 
125-26,  128-29,  129  ?i;  relations 


294 


INDEX 


with  Toulan,  114;  plan  for  the 
Queen's  escape,  116-21  ;  not  re- 
elected  Commissioner,  128  ;  sent  to 
Sainte-Pelagie,  131-33  ;  witness  in 
Queen's  trial,  132-33 

Lequeux,  sketch  in  the  Temple,  139  n 

Les  Feuillants,  Convent  of,  Royal 
Family  lodged  in,  narrative  of 
Dufour,  1-12 

Lindsay,  Englishman,  57 

Logographe,  the,  Tuileries,  5 

Longwy,  blockade  of,  40 

Louis  VII.,  283 

Louis  XIII.,  282 

Louis  XIV.,  282 

Louis  XVI.,  144,  152,  218,  243,  259, 
263-65,  279;  Convention,  before 
the,  32,  108  ;  Commune  troubles  in 
Artois,  remark  concerning,  92-93  ; 
Communion  tablecloth  preserved 
by  Clery,  116  ;  Daujon,  gratitude 
to,  34-35  ;  Dauphin,  education  of 
the,  82,  91  ;  Death  of,  147;  (Turgy), 
69  ;  (Goret),  95-96  ;  (Santerre),  98  ; 
popular  sympathy,  113-14;  Ex- 
humation of  his  body,  269-76  ;  re- 
burial,  277-82;  Fear  of  the 
Septembriseurs,  42,  49-50;  Im- 
prisonment— arrival  in  the  Temple, 
28-29 ;  incidents  (Daujon),  40-41  ; 
(Turgy),  66;  (Goret),  82-94,  97; 
(Lepitre),  108-14;  (Moelle),  136-40; 
Library  in  the  Temple,  137  n ; 
Personality  (Goret),  94  ;  (Lepitre), 
108;  (Moelle),  136-37;  Plot  for 
his  escape,  Clery's  account,  98-99, 
99?i;  Separation  from  the  Queen, 
Lepitre's  attempts  for  re-union, 
112-13  ;  Wardrobe  in  the  Temple, 
136  n 

Louis  XVII. ,  147,  157,  165;  Arrival 
at  the  Temple,  27;  Deposition, 
the,  wrung  from  him  by  Hebert, 
35,  50-51;  Education  in  the  Temple, 
82,  91  ;  Hebert's  treatment  of, 
51 ;  Imprisonment  in  the  Temple, 
incidents  of  (Turgy),  71,  76,  77  ; 
(Goret),  83,  87  n,  100;  (Lepitre), 
108-31  passim-,  (Moelle),  136-43 
passim  ;  Personality  (Daujon),  42 
andn;  (Moelle),  142-43;  Song 
composed  for,  on  death  of  his  father, 
121-22 

Louis  XVIII. ,  162  n,  215  n,  221,  267, 
283,  284  n  ;  testimonial  to  Turgy, 
60 ;  declares  himself  Regent,  71 ; 


foundation  of  Chapter  of  St.  Denis 

by,  280 

Louis  Joseph  Xavier,  Dauphin,  282 
Louis  Philippe,  215  n 
Louise  de  Lorraine,  283 
Luxembourg     Palace     proposed     as 

prison  for  the  Royal  Family,  21 

MADELEINE,  Cemetery  of  the,  1793, 
position,  264,  266-67;  burial  of 
Marie  Antoinette,  264-84;  burial 
of  Louis  XVI.,  269-84 

Madeleine,  old  Church  of  the,  270  n 

Madelonnettes,  prison  of  the,  157, 
158  n ;  the  Richard  family  im- 
prisoned in,  157,  172 

Magnin,  M.  Charles  Abbe,  156  n\ 
207,  208;  Conciergerie,  ministra- 
tions in  the,  194  and  n,  200-203, 
210,  213  ;  Declaration  of,  215-27  ; 
facts  in  proof  of  his  reliability, 
215  n ;  Elevation  of,  215  n  ;  Lafont 
d'Aussonne,  attacks  of,  203-4  ;  Last 
years  of,  account,  205  w-206  ;  Resi- 
dence with  Demoiselles  Fouches, 
209  n 

Malesherbes,  M.  de,  255 ;  visits  to 
Louis  XVI.  in  the  Temple,  32, 
93-95,  112 

Mallemain,  Mme.,  79-80 

Mancel,  servant  of,  the  Comte 
d' Artois,  28 

Mandet,  M.,  2 

Manuel,  Procureur  of  the  Commune, 
40 ;  remorse  of,  133  ;  evidence  in 
the  Queen's  trial,  229,  234 

Marat,  death  of,  77 

Marchand,  man-servant,  80,  135 

Maribon-Moutaut,  M.,  deputy,  17-19 

Marie  Antoinette,  Queen — Abbe  Mag  - 
nin,  ministrations  of,  200-203 ; 
Burial  in  the  cemetery  of  the 
Madeleine,  264-68  ;  exhumation  of 
the  body,  272-76!;  re-burial,  275-83, 
284  n ;  Characteristics,  161-62  ; 
(Moelle),  141-42;  Communion  in 
the  Conciergiere,  156  n2,  196-206, 
210, 213,  215-27  ;  Conciergerie,  her 
imprisonment  in  :  transference  from 
the  Temple,  144-45;  her  last 
night  in  the,  247  and  w-48 ;  details  of 
her  imprisonment  (Rosalie  Lam  or - 
liere),  150-71 ;  notes  by  Monseig- 
neur  de  Salamon,  172-74  ;  account 
by  Mme.  Simon- Vouet,  176-85 ; 
account  by  Mme.  Bault,  186-95; 


295 


INDEX 


Confession  refused  in  the  Con- 
ciergerie,  169  ;  Courage  and  dignity 
displayed  at  her  trial,  229-33 ; 
Death  of :  decreed  Sept.  2nd, 
147-49  ;  the  morning  of  the  execu- 
tion, 168-71,  173;  narrative  of 
Lariviere,  238-44 ;  narrative  of 
de  Busne,  245-46;  narrative  of 
gendarme  Leger,  247-48  ;  narrative 
of  Desessarts,  249 ;  narrative  of 
Vicomte  Charles  Desfosses,  250-52  ; 
narrative  of  Rouy,  253-54  ;  Identi- 
fication of  her  remains,  220,  275  ; 
King's  death,  her  sorrow  for,  69, 
99-100,114-15;  question  of  mourn- 
ing, 115  ;  Les  Feuillants,  her  im- 
prisonment in,  4-12 ;  Letter  to 
Mme.  Elizabeth,  222-23;  to  the 
Duchesse  d'Angouleme,  260  ;  gene- 
ral destruction  of  her  letters,  59 ; 
Mile.  Fouche,  visits  of,  207-14; 
Plots  for  her  escape,  70-71,  116-21, 
196  (see  also  Carnation,  affair  of 
the) ;  Relics  of,  260-61  ;  fate  of  her 
possessions,  171  ;  Sketch  of,  on  her 
way  to  the  scaffold,  251 ;  Temple, 
details  of  her  imprisonment  (Dau- 
jon),  35,  41-55  ;  (Turgy),  63,  67-69, 
73-74  ;  (Goret),  82-86,  90-91,  96  TO, 
97-101;  (Lepitre),  106-31  passim-, 
(Moelle),  137-43  passim ;  her  re- 
moval from  the  Temple,  131 ;  Trial 
of,  168-69  ;  recollections  of  Lepitre, 
132-33;  description  by  Bault, 
194-95  ;  notes  by  M.  Chauveau-La- 
garde,  228-34 ;  description  by  Comte 
Horace  de  Viel-Castel,  231  n ;  re- 
collections of  Moelle,  235-37;  Ward- 
robe in  the  Temple,  137  n ;  Will  of, 
204  n ;  intercepted  by  Bault, 
255-56  ;  handed  to  Fouquier-Tin- 
ville,  256  ;  secreted  by  Robespierre, 
256  and  n 2 ;  stolen  by  Courtois, 
256-58 ;  his  attempts  to  sell  it  to 
the  Royal  Family,  258-63 ;  quota- 
tion from,  259 ;  received  by  the 
Duchesse  d'Angouleme,  203 

Marie  de  Medicis,  282 

Marie  Therese,  282 

Marino,  144 

Martainville,  M. ,  6  n 

Martin,  Marie  Antoine,  260 

Mass  celebrated  at  the  Conciergerie 
for  Marie  Antoinette,  213 

Massacres,  the  September,  34,  43-49, 
52-58 


Massieu,  M.,  260,  262 

Mathey,  porter  in  the  Temple,  139  n 

Mathieu,  ex-Capuchin,  41  and  «-42 

Maussion,  M.  de,  261 

Menjaud,  painting  of  the  Communion 

in  the  Conciergerie,  215  n 
Mercereau,  stone-cutter,  insults  the 

Queen,  109 
Meunier,  cook,  30 
Michel,  144 
Michelet,  268 
Michonis,  inspector  of  police,  78,  144, 

151,  157,  158,  160,  196,  212,  241  ; 

death  of,  133,  186-87 
Milhaut,  198  n 

Military  Commission,  the,  202 
Minier,  municipal  officer,  140 
Miranda,,  the    name    mentioned    in 

Mme.  Elizabeth's  notes,  77 
Mittau,  59,  212,  215  n,  220 
Moelle,  Claude  Antoine  Francois,  32  ; 

narrative  of,  63  TO,  134-43  ;'  Tison's 

accusation  against,    96  n,   129  n ; 

recollections  of  the  trial,  235-37 
Molleville,  M.  Bertrand  de,  223 
Montaigu,  Abbe,  198,  201 
Montjoie,  Histoire  de  la  Heine,  cited, 

141  ro,  158  n,  245 
Montmorin,  Mme.  de,  255  n 
Montreuil  Section,  the,  56 
Morinerie,    M.    de    la,    Papier s    du 

Temple,  cited,  82,  84  n,  86,  108  n, 

129,  138  n,  144  n 
Morgue,  the,  54  n 
Municipality,    the    Provisional,    68, 

102,  103,  134 

NANCY,  Bishop  of,  274,  276,  278, 
279 

Nantes,  Fran9ais  de,  President,  ex- 
amination of  M.  Rohan-Chabot, 
16-20 

Nantouillet,  M.  de,  8  n 

Napoleon  I. ,  283 

Napoleon  III.,  283 

Narbonne,  M.,  16 

National  Guard,  duty  at  the  Temple, 
39,  44,  83,  88 ;  Marie  Antoinette's 
repugnance  for  the  uniform,  242 

Noailles,  M.  de,  Prince  de  Poix,  14, 
16,  278  and  n,  279 

OLIVIER,  pictures  of,  in  the  Temple, 

23,  24 

Orleans,  Catholicism  in,  197 
Orleans,  Due  d',  265 


296 


INDEX 


PACHE,  Mayor  of  Paris,  visit  to  the 

Temple,   96  n  ;   meeting  of  Com- 
mittee of  Public  Safety  in  house  of, 

146-49 

Paffe,  M.,  124 
Palais   Royal,   the   Septembrists  at, 

47,  54  n 
Palloy,    Patriot,   Palloy's  wall,   28- 

32 

Pantheon,  Section  of  the,  81 
Pare  Monceau,  268 
Paris — Arrests  of    citizens    decreed, 

147  ;  rising  against  the  merchants 

of,  121 
Paris,  Monseigneur  the  Archbishop 

of,  210,  215  71,  221 
Parisot,  M.,  69 
Partiot,  Mme.,  8  n 
Partiot,  M.,  portrait  of  Marie  An- 
toinette in  possession  of,  8  n 
Pascal,  M.  Maurice,  283  and  n 
Passage  du  Perron,  54  n 
Pelagic,  Sainte,  prison :   see   Sainte- 

Pelagie 

Pelletaii,  Dr.,  203 
Penthievre,  Due  de,  238  ;  attempt  to 

secure    remains    of    Princesse    de 

Lamballe,  52-55 
Petion,  Mayor,   49,   62;  suspended, 

92 

Petit,  Mme.,  132 
Philibert, ,  Abbe,  198  n,  201 
Philippe  Egalite,  attitude  on  death  of 

Mme.  de  Lamballe,  57-58 
Picard,  Le,  273  and  n  l 
Picavez,  M.,  269 
Pierart,    Z.,    Recherches    historiques, 

12271 

Piquet,  Citizen,  30 
Place    de    la    Revolution,  249,    254, 

267 
Place  Louis  XV,    accident  in  June, 

1770,  265,  266 
Place  Vendome,  4,  6  n  ;  the  Hotel  de 

la  Chancellerie,  22 
Poiritel,  Citizen  Jacques,  54  and  (n  ; 

secures  the  head  of  the  Princesse  de 

Lamballe,  56-57 

Poix,  Prince  de  :  see  Noailles,  M.  de 
Porte  Saint-Denis,  54  n 
Pouquet,  Sieur  Antoine,  56 
Prieux,  196 
Prud'homme,  gendarme,  677?,  156  n2, 

200-2,  202  n 
Prussia,     negotiations    with,    as     to 

Marie  Antoinette,  147 


QUAI  DES  ORFEVRES,  140 

Quelen,  Mme.  de,  210-11 

Quelen,  M.  de,  206  n,  215  n 

Quentin,  Abbe,  206  n 

Queruelle,  Jean-Gabriel,  55 

Quex,  Le,  sketch  of  the  Temple,  28 

Quinze-Vingts  Section,  extract  from 

the  original  minutes,  55-58 
Quotidienne,  La,  for  the  year  1821, 

263  TO 


RABAUT,  Saint-Etienne,  141 

Rambluzin,  257,  258 

Rancourt,  Mme.,  132 

Ray,  M.,  196  n 

Real,  Pierre  Fra^ois,  130  and  n 

Reiset,  M.  de,  Madame  Eloff,  91  n 

Renard,  Sieur  Sylvain,  account  of  the 
burial  and  exhumation  of  Louis 
XVI.  and  Marie  Antoinette,  269-79 
passim 

Renaud,  Abbe,  services  at  the  Con- 
ciergerie,  19871 

Renet,  registrar,  56,  57 

Revolutionary  Tribunal,  144,  145, 
202 ;  their  part  in  the  Queen's 
death,  147, 149,  194  ;  surveillance  of 
the  Queen  in  prison,  165, 167  ;  takes 
possession  of  the  Queen's  belong- 
ings, 171 ;  methods,  190-91 ;  terror 
inspired  by,  245 

Ricard,  M.,  inspector  of  national 
property,  70  and  n 

Richard,  the  child  Fan-fan,  157 

Richard,  Gaoler,  153,  157,  158  TO, 
172-74,  176,  201,  207-8,  210,  212, 
218,  239,  242,  255;  the  affair  of 
the  Carnation,  157,  200 ;  Rosalie 
Lamorliere's  reference  to,  181  ;  his 
dismissal,  187 

Richard,  Mme. ,  guardianship  of  Marie 
Antoinette  in  the  Conciergerie, 
152-54,  157,  158,  160,  161  n2,  162, 
163,  165,  166,  242 ;  death  of,  177  ; 
Rosalie  Lamorliere's  reference  to, 
181 

Richelieu,  Mare"chal  de,  99  n 

Riouffe,  151 

Robert,  chemist  at  the  Temple,  115  n 

Robert,  lad  visiting  the  Temple,  116 

Robespierre,  36,  101,  193  n,  231  n,  256 
and  n  2,  262  n  2 

Robiano,  Comte  Fra^ois  de,  207 ; 
pamphlet  by,  203  ;  method  of  com- 
piling his  narrative,  206 


297 


INDEX 


Roche,  Barthelemy  de  la,  letters  of, 

quoted,  198  n 
Rochefoucauld,  M.  La,  19 
Rocheterie,  M.  Maxime  de  la,  Revue 

des     Questions     historiques,      206  ; 

Histoire  de  Marie  Antoinette,  230  n, 

264  n 
Rohan  -  Chabot,      M. ,      examination 

before  the  Assembly,  13-20 
Roland,  Mme.,   sketch  of  Cubieres, 

68  n 

Rothe,  M.,  60 

Rotunda  of  the  Temple,  the,  25,  27 
Rouen,  College  of,  103 
Rougeville,  A.  D.  J.  Gonzze  de,  Le 

Vrai    Chevalier  de  Maison  Rouge, 

cited,  146?i,  159  n1 
Rougeville,   M.   de,  involved  in  the 

Carnation    Conspiracy,    133,    151, 

157,  196 
Roux,  Jacques,  official  report  of  the 

King's     death,    95 ;     methods     of 

annoying  the  Royal  Family,  114; 

present  at  death  of  Louis  XVI., 

114  and  n 
Roux,  Louis,  129 
Rouy,  narrative  of  Marie  Antoinette's 

execution  by,  253-54 
Royal  Guard,  soldiers  of  the,  1 
Royale,      Mme.  :     see      Augouleme, 

Duchesse  d' 
Royalist  songs,  121-22 
Royalists  in  Paris,  efforts  on  behalf 

of  the  Queen,  145-46 
Rue  d'Anjou,  266,  267,  281 
Rue  d'Anjou  Saint-Honore,  270,  274, 

276 

Rue  d' Avignon,  55 
Rue  de  Buffaut,  134  n 
Rue  de  Charonne,  56 
Rue  de  Clery,  53,  54  n 
Rue  de  Coq- Saint- Jean,  33 
Rue  de  1' Arcade,  266,  270  n 
Rue  de  la  Barillerie,  152  n2 
Rue  de  la  Corderie,  23,  54  n,  109  u 
Rue  de  la  Pepiniere,  266 
Rue  de  la  Rotunde,  25 
Rue  de  la  Savonnerie,  55 
Rue  de  la  Vieille-Draperie,  152  w2 
Rue  de  la  Ville  1'Eveque,  264,  270  n  ; 

Convent  in,  266 
Rue  de  Saint-Louis,  103 
Rue  de  Sevres,  178 
Rue  des  Ballets,  53,  54  n 
Rue  des  Franc-Bourgeois,  54  n 
Rue  des  Mathurins,  266 


Rue  des  Petits-Champs,  54  n,  56 

Rue  du  Chaume,  54  n 

Rue    du     Faubourg     Saint-Antoine, 

55-56 

Rue  du  Temple,  23 
Rue  Haute,  Temple,  25 
Rue  La  Coutellerie,  54  n 
Rue  La  Ferronnerie,  54  n 
Rue  La  Tixanderie,  54  n 
Rue  Le  Roi  de  Sicile,  54  n 
Rue  Malher,  53 
Rue  Popincourt,  56 
Rue  Saint-Antoine,  53,  54  n 
Rue  Saint-Honore,  54  n,  249-51 
Rue  Saint-Jacques,  102 
Rue  Saint-Nicholas,  56 
Rue  Saint-Romain,  179 


SAINT  ANDR£,  147 

Saint-Cyr,  78 

Saint-Denis,  Royal  church  of,  burial 

of  Louis  XVI.  and  Marie  Antoinette 

in,     277-84 ;    desecration    of    the 

Bourbon  vault,  282  ;  Royal  Chapter 

of,  founded,  280 
Saint-Eustache,     Church     of,     110, 

205  n 

Saint-Gall,  78 

Sainte-Genevieve,  section  of,  81 
Sainte-Germain-en-Laye  library,  33 
Saint-Germain-1' Auxerrois,  Church  of, 

203,  215  ;  closed  during  last  years 

of  Abbe  Magnin,  205  ?i-206 
Saint-Hugues,  L.  de,  196  n 
Saint- Jacques-la-Boucherie,  battalion 

of,  55 

Saint-Leger,  M.  de,  163 
Saint-M ,    vicar    of,    visits    the 

Queen  in  the  Conciergerie,  214  n 
Saint-Nicholas-des-Champs,  215  n 
Sainte-Pelagie,  prison  of,  157,  222  ; 

Lepitre  sent  to,  131-33 
Saint-Roch,   203;     Sisters    of,    211, 

220 

Saint-Sulpice,  Seminary  of,  198 
Salamon,  Monseigneur  de,  Notes  by, 

172-74 

Sambucy,  Abbede,  198  TO,  201 
Sansculottes,  use  of  the  term,  125 
Sanson,  Henri,  executioner,  243  and 

w,250 
Santerre,    Commandant-General,   49, 

62  ;  visits  to  the  Temple,  96,  108  ; 

account  of  the  death  of  Louis  XVI., 


INDEX 


Sardou,  M.  Victorien,  collection,  33, 

36,  189 

Saulieu,  Mme.,  164 
Saumur,  77 

Savard,  Commissioner,  56,  57 
Savornin,  Abbe,  '273  n 
Segur,  Comte  Anatole  de,  Un  Episode 

de  la  Terreur,  cited,  198  n,  200  TO, 

201  n 

Senozau,  Mme.  de,  255 
Serent,   Mme.,  correspondence  with 

the  Temple,  65,  66,  73,  77,  78,  129  n 
S£ze,  M.  de,  defence  of  the  King,  33 
Simon,  care  of  the  Dauphin,  30,  51  ; 

tribute  by  Goret,  100-101 
Simon,  Citoyenne,  32  and  n,  100  n 
Siinon-Vouet,  Mme.,  230  ?i;  inquiry 

of,  175-85 
Solminiac,  M.,  Qn 
Songs,  Royalist,  121-22 
Stable  Court,  Temple,  26 
Suin,  Mme.,  132 
Sulleau,  M.  Fra^ois,  6  and  n 
Swiss  Guards,  2  and  n 


TARENTE,  Princesse  de,  212,  220 
Tasse,  M.  la,  sent  for  by  the  Queen, 

115  and  n,  116 

Temple,  the— Bailliage,  the,  25, 26, 28; 
Church  of  the,  26  ;  Communication 
with  the  outside  world,  methods 
established  by  the  prisoners,  109 
and  n ;  Council  of  the,  methods 
of  working,  62-63,  104,  105  ;  Coun- 
cil Room  of  the,  73,  105,  111,  135  ; 
removed  to  the  ground  floor,  134 
n ;  Court  of  the  Indemnity,  24  ; 
Court  of  the  Little  Fortress,  24; 
Grand  Priory,  meals  prepared  in, 
135 ;  Hanriot  places  in  a  state  of 
siege,  144 ;  Identification  of  the 
King's  attendants,  62;  Lamballe, 
Princesse  de,  her  remains  brought 
to  the,  34,  43-49,  53 TO;  Little 
Tower,  the  Royal  Family  in  the, 
82 ;  Manor  of  the,  plans,  27 ; 
Meals  for  the  Royal  Family, 
Turgot's  account,  62-66  ;  Moelle's, 
63  TO,  135-36,  139;  Goret's,  86-88 
andnn  ;  Lepitre's,  111-12  ;  Palloy's 
wall,  28-32;  Passage  of  the  In- 
demnity, 24  ;  Plans  of  the,  29,  31  ; 
Porte  du  Bailliage,  61  ;  Precincts, 
22 ;  plan  of,  25  ;  cemetery  of  the, 
26 ;  Removal  of  the  Queen  from, 


131,  144-45;  Royal  Family's  im- 
prisonment, 21-32 ;  Dufour's  nar- 
rative, 11-12  ;  Daujon's  narrative, 
37-58  ;  Turgy's  narrative,  61-69  ; 
Goret's  narrative,  81-101  ;  Le- 
pitre's narrative,  104-33 ;  Moelle's 
narrative,  136-43;  Stable  Court, 

26  ;  Topography  during  the  Revo- 
lutionary period,  22-32 ;  Tower  of 
the,  Henri  de  Curzon's  description, 
84?i;    in  the  Visitations  of  Paris, 
84  TO  ;  Lepitre's  description,  104 

Terror,  the,  207 ;  Religion  during, 
197 

Theatre  de  la  Cite,  103,  152  and  w2 

Theatre  du  Lycee,  Adele  de  Sacy 
played  at,  127  n 

Theatre  Francais,  132 

Thuriot,  M.,  15 

Tison,  Mme,  denunciation  of  Commis- 
sioners, 72,  128-29,  129  TO  ;  mental 
derangement  of,  73-74,  74  n,  130 

Tison,  Pierre  Joseph,  accusations 
brought  by,  72,  74,  75,  96 TO,  111; 
account  of,  74  TO  ;  subsequent 
loyalty,  76  ;  duties  in  the  Temple, 
97,  98,  117,  135;  personality, 
105-6  ;  spying  of,  135  and  TO,  140 

Toulan,  Francois  Andrien,  conversion 
of,  66-67 ;  loyalty  of,  69,  76-78, 
109,  110,  112,  113,  114;  his  plan 
for  escape  of  the  Royal  Family, 
70-71,  116-21 ;  prevented  from 
serving  in  the  Temple,  72,  128; 
plan  of  signals,  77  ;  arrest  of,  80 
and  n ;  accusation  against,  96  TO, 
126,  129  TO  ;  account  of,  106  n  ;  con- 
demned to  death,  125;  escape  of, 
133 

Toulon,  re-capture  of,  146 

Tour-du-Pin,  M.  de  la,  235  and  n 

Tournan,  59 

Tournan-en-Brie,  59,  80 

Tourzel,  Mme.  de,  in  Les  Feuillants, 
6-7,  9  n ;  Memoir es  quoted,  6  TO2r 

27  ;  in  the  Temple,  61  TO 
Treilhard,  M.,  112 

Troche,  M.,  cited,  204  TO,  215  TO 

Tronchet,  M.,  defence  of  the  King, 
112,  113 

Troncon-Ducoudray,  M.,  228  TO,  230, 
231,  233,  253  TO2,  260 

Trouv6,  Mile.,  220 

Tuileries,  Palace  of  the,  254 ;  meet- 
ing of  the  Legislative  Assembly  in 
the  Riding  School,  1-3  ;  mob  attack 


INDEX 


on  August  10th,  4-6 ;  attempt  of 
the  mob  to  enter,  with  the  body  of 
Mme.  de  Lamballe,  53-54,  54  n ; 
gardens  of  the,  249 
Turgy,  Louis  Francois,  30,  135; 
narrative  of,  59-80  ;  rewarded  by 
the  Duchesse  d'Angouleme,  60, 
109  n ;  list  of  r  concerted  signs 
between  Mme.  Elizabeth  and,  64, 
72-73  ;  notes  to,  from  Mme.  Eliza- 
beth, 75-80,  107  n 

VALAYEB,  M.,  215  n 

Varinot,  M.,  of  Versailles^  178 

Vaudeville      Theatre,      La     Chaste 

Suzanne  played  at,  127-28 
Vaugirard,  187 
Verdun,  fall  of,  40 
Vergy,  Gabrielle  de,  85 
Verniaud,  M.,  6w2 
Verniquet,  266 
Versailles,  College  of.  103 
Versailles,  Palace  of,  the  (Eil  de  Bceuf, 

71  and  n  ;    population  during  the 

Restoration,  177  n 
Vertot,  M.,  150  n 
Vicq,  Sieur,  56 


Victoire,  Mme.,  283 

Viel-Castel,  Comte  Horace  de,  quoted, 

231  n 
Vienna,    negotiations    with,     as     to 

Marie  Antoinette,  145,  147 
Vigier,  M.  du,  6  n 
Vildavrai,    M.    Thieri    de,   visit    to 

Louis  XVI.,  10-12 
Vincent,     the     doctor,     accusations 

against,  69  n,  129  n 
Vis6,  Mercure,  137 
Visitation  of    Paris,    1495,    descrip- 
tion of  the  Temple,  84  n 
Voisin,  Abb6  de,  199 
Vyre,    M.    de,   L'Hittoire   de  Marie 

Antoinette,  cited,  9  n,   87  n,  115  n, 

214  n 


WALLOK,  M.  A. ,  cited,  250  n 
War  Office,  Archives  of,  cited,  245 
Weber,  Memoirs,  quoted,  2  n,  52-53 
Welvert,    Eugene,     Le    Saisie     des 

Papiers  du  Conventionnel,  &c. ,  cited, 

257  n,  261  n,  262  n 
Werthmuller,      Marie     Antoinette's 

portrait  by,  7  n 


THE    END 


R.    CLAY   AND  SONS,   LTD.,   BREAD  ST.    HILL,    K.C.     AND  BUNOAY,   SUFFOLK. 


LA' 


HOME  USE 

CIRCULATION  DEPARTMENT 
MAIN  LIBRARY 

This  book  is  due  on  the  last  date  stamped  below. 
1  -month  loans  may  be  renewed  by  calling  642-3405. 
6-month  loans  may  be  recharged  by  bringing  books 

to  Circulation  Desk. 
Renewals  and  recharges  may  be  made  4  days  prior 

to  due  date. 

ALL  BOOKS  ARE  SUBJECT  TO  RECALL  7  DAYS 
AFTER  DATE  CHECKED  OUT. 

INTERUBRARY  LOAN 


9.3  1974 


UNIV.  OF  CALIF.,  BERK. 


LD21 — A-40m-5,'74  General  Library 

(R8191L)  University  of  California 

Berkeley 


059G4